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Oftentimes when a bar creates a new alcoholic concoction, something goes horribly awry: either overzealous bartenders blend flavors that just don't work well together (think mint leaves and any number of boozes), or they overdo it with the sugary liquids and create a nasty frankensteined Lemon Drop. This week, I'm glad to report, the Sundried Tomato Cafe in San Juan Capistrano has a winner in its San Clemente Cosmo.
Based on a drink made famous by a coven of fictional, sassy New York women, the Sundried version introduces a twist, perhaps in a nod to Capistrano's Latino heritage. The standard Cosmopolitan typically consists of vodka, cranberry juice and a liqueur such as Cointreu or triple sec.
The Sundried version consists of the following: Absolut Mandarin vodka, cranberry juice, and Grand Marnier. The drink is then served in a martini glass and garnished with a wedge of lime.
The thirsty patron is treated to a nice balance of sweetness combined with a tart finish. The addition of the Grand Marnier and lime evokes Pavlovian memories of margaritas (especially given the presence of Grand Marnier, a staple in the Cadillac version of the drink). The vodka and deep, red tint of the cocktail can compel groups of girls out for a night on the town to hit the upscale shoe stores and gossip about their boyfriends' sexual inadequacies. But go easy on this one, not so much because of the high alcohol content, but more for the high price tag, which hits the wallet hard at $10.50. Still worth every sip.