Sunday, September 19, 2010

What Price Cosmo?

Barbara and I have for months been talking about figuring out how much, exactly, we’re spending on cosmos. A few weeks ago I did some quick calculations in my head and estimated that they cost about $11 each. Barbara thought that sounded high and suggested I try it again, with a calculator.

A regulation cosmo — that is, one that’s half the size of the ones Barbara serves — costs $1.48. So the ones we’ve been drinking cost us $2.96. Still a bargain, compared to the $10 (minimum) they cost on Long Island and the $15 (or so) they cost in NYC.

Cointreau is the most pricey ingredient; $1.68 per big drink. To save some money, I decided to revisit triple sec. It costs 12 cents per drink! And I like that it’s not as strong as Cointreau. The resulting cosmo tastes fine. Cosmo lite.

But Barbara isn’t having any of it. That is, she doesn’t agree in theory (“How much do we drink, anyway?? It’s not like we’re buying bottles of Cointreau every week or even every month!"), and she refuses to practice what I’m preaching (extreme austerity and weaker drinks in preparation for Christmas overspending and indulging). So I will buy a bottle of Cointreau to use to prepare her cosmos when we have cocktails at my house; it’s only right. But I’ll be using the triple sec for myself until it’s gone or Christmas, whichever comes first.


kelleybean said...

I must protest...
Mary, this entry makes me seem like a spend thrift!
They are just SO DAMN MUCH BETTER with cointreau!!!
(And you don't even mention the cheap s#*t gin we use! can't that count for austerity???)

Anonymous said...

You use Cointreau ($$$) but s**t gin($)? Is it just to get the extra alcohol content kick? If so, you could just return to bargain triple sec and add a splash of bad vodka. But if there is a depth of flavor difference, certainly Sapphire would contribute. I'm going to have to make a 'proper' Cosmo, all top shelf and see. Right now I've been completely happy with Sapphire, triple sec, and my cheap swap: minute maid limeade concentrate (plus squeeze of real lime to compensate).

Barbara said...

I'm with Barbara on this one, Mary. If you really want to save the money, drink water. When I've used triple sec, I can feel the sugar between my teeth. And it's a bit more bitter. Cointreau, on the other hand, is smooth as silk. So...if you're going to drink a cosmopolitan, drink a GOOD cosmopolitan!

Mary said...

Oh no! Far be it from me to inadvertently besmirch the reputation of the person who in drawing my likeness depicts me as still blondish and wearing shoes more stylish than my Merrill clogs!

The triple sec is much more about my cheapness campaign than Kelleybean's (nonexistant) spendthrift ways. My point was supposed to be that when I'm on complete austerity, I take extreme routes to savings. For example, if I had mistakenly grabbed a bottle of peach schnapps when I was reaching for the triple sec, I'd be using peach schnapps.

The cloying nature of a triple sec cosmo (which does gets cut considerably, by the way, with a good dose of fresh lime juice, per WhoopsyD) is a price I'm willing to pay. And I just have to point out that Kelleybean (who, to anyone reading in confusion, is the Barbara my blog partner, as opposed to commenter Barbara, who is a different Barbara all together)for years made her cosmos with triple sec. Cointreau only got into the mix when I was having her to my house for drinks for the first time. I knew she liked cosmos, which I had never made or tasted, so I googled a recipe and it called for Cointreau, so that's what I bought.

Triple sec cosmos were good enough to make you fall in love with them in the first place! How bad could they be??

Gin: Yes, the earlier cheapness campaign that got me off Tanqueray and onto Gilbey's (more recently upgraded to Highgate, which comes in a green plastic bottle that could be mistaken for 2 liters of 7 Up) will have to be covered. And WhoopsyDaisy, Sapphire is the one gin I cannot drink. Something about the botanicals makes me practically hallucinate, even with one sip. Kelleybean and my sister Laura have a similar reaction. I do love the bottle, especially compared with Highgate.

To sum up: Kelleybean is not a spendthrift. Barbara is not Kelleybean. Cointreau is better than triple sec. I'm reveling in penny pinching.

I need a drink. Cosmo lite, anyone?

Brian McGlynn said...

Life is too short to drink junk!
Go with the flipping Cointreau, and just go with Beefeater for gin. If it's good enough to drink straight and pretend it's a "Martini," it's good enough for a damn candy drink like a Cosmo, no?