Today I moved up (or is it down?) from cosmopolitans to metropolitans. Sort of like metrosexuals, who I guess don't exist anymore because you never read about them. Sensitive and it waxes, if not poetic.

The recipe in my calendar for today is the vodka version, not the more standard metropolitan that calls for brandy, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

My calendar specified black currant vodka, about the only flavor I don't have (I don't have Peppar either, and that one would actually be useful to have around), so I substituted Absolut Raspberry with the cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime. I cut the lime from 3/4 oz to 1/2 oz, knowing my calendar author's love for puckering up.

I don't know if it was the Absolut Raspberry or what, but this was about the thinnest tasting cocktail I've mixed up all year. It didn't have much flavor at all. I took a few sips and gave up on it.

I tried a second time with a recipe of my own devising: regular vodka (about 1 3/4 oz), creme de cassis (a little under 3/4 oz), triple sec (3/4 oz), cran juice (3/4 oz), and a drizzle of lime.

This was much better, packing a lot more flavor. Surprisingly, the lime still came through the strongest. Maybe Rose's would have worked better. But besides that, all the flavors blended nicely into one non-OJ, juicy tasting drink.

The last one I tried was a Mandarin Metropolitan off the internet: 1 1/2 oz Absolut Mandarin, a full 2 oz cran juice, and a half ounce Rose's lime juice. I like cran juice, so this appealed to me in theory. In reality t was just a tad too orangey for my taste; maybe a mix of Mandarin and unflavored vodkas would work better. But not a bad drink if you like yours sweet and fruity.