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Are martinis and cosmos the same thing? Definitely not—martinis are one of the most iconic cocktails and come in many shapes and forms, but the classic martini is made with gin and dry vermouth, served extremely cold and garnished with an olive or lemon twist.

The history behind the martini is murky at best and the traditional tall-stemmed V-shaped martini glass is one of the most recognizable glasses on the bar. Easy to spill and even easier to drink too many, martinis are made with both gin and vodka, and a dirty martini is when you add some olive brine along with the olives you’re using for garnish. A dry martini is when you’d like less vermouth, and a wet martini is the opposite—some martini drinkers like to use an even one-to-one ratio of gin to vermouth. James Bond famously orders his “shaken, not stirred,” but some folks are happiest ordering their martinis on the rocks (especially in the summer). Flavored and fruity martinis abound, and the sky’s the limit on inventing a new martini based on whatever flavor profile you can dream up.

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If you’re a martini drinker, you’ll likely find the cranberry juice and Cointreau in a classic Cosmopolitan to be a sweeter, more mellow option. Cosmos are made with vodka (and unlike the martini, never gin) and then shaken with Cointreau, cranberry juice, and fresh lime juice. Cosmos are often served in martini glasses, and can be made with plain or citrus-flavored vodkas.

Is it happy hour yet? Check out these 9 cocktail recipes for cosmos and martinis that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Classic Cosmopolitan

Chowhound

The official beverage of choice for the “Sex and The City” crew and love letter to the late 1990s, this classic cosmo recipe has vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime. Get our Classic Cosmopolitan recipe.

Chocolate Martini

When you can’t decide between ordering dessert or a cocktail, the chocolate martini is here to answer your prayers. Combine vodka with dark crème de cacao, and use cocoa powder to garnish the rim of the glass along with a chocolate truffle. Get our Chocolate Martini recipe.

Perfect Gin Martini

Chowhound

Award-winning bartender Matt Seigel, formerly of NoMad and Eleven Madison Park, provided this recipe for a perfect gin martini with a secret key ingredient: a dash of orange bitters. Get our Perfect Gin Martini recipe.

Clear Ginger Cosmopolitan

Ginger-infused vodka is paired with white cranberry juice for a clear cosmopolitan without the usual shade of pink. Triple sec, fresh lime juice, and candied ginger make for a perfect final touch. Get our Clear Ginger Cosmopolitan recipe.

Blood Orange Cosmo

One Sweet Mess

Blood orange juice subs in for cranberry juice in this recipe—you can use blood orange flavored vodka as well for an extra dose of citrus. Get One Sweet Mess’s Blood Orange Cosmo recipe.

The James Bond Martini

James Bond vesper martini recipe

Micaela Fiorellini/Shutterstock

Straight from the screen in “Casino Royale,” this martini ordered by James Bond has three ounces of Gordon’s gin, an ounce of vodka, and a half ounce of Lillet Blanc with a twist of lemon peel. Get our James Bond Martini recipe.

Filthy Martini

Shutterstock

This updated take on a dirty vodka martini has the requisite dry vermouth, but replaces the olives with caperberries and the olive brine with caperberry brine. Get our Filthy Martini recipe.

Pomegranate Cosmopolitans

Pomegranate Cosmopolitan recipe

Bryan Gardner for Martha Stewart

Unsweetened pomegranate juice instead of cranberry juice makes these cosmos a darker shade of red, perfect for any holiday parties. Garnish with lime wheels or add in some pomegranate seeds for a touch of the unexpected. Get Martha Stewart’s Pomegranate Cosmo recipe.

Apple Martini

Shutterstock

A great example of a fruity and unusual martini, this apple martini is made with vodka, apple schnapps, and apple juice, and then garnished with a fresh apple slice. Get our Apple Martini recipe.

Related Video: The Perfect Martini

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Header image by Chowhound, using images from Shutterstock and Chowhound.

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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