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.