‘Sex and the City’: 3 Food Trends That Got a Boost From the Iconic Show

Sex and the City helped put HBO on the map when it premiered in the 1990s. The show didn’t just help its network out, though. For six years, fans tuned in to see what Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Miranda Hobbes, and Charlotte York were up to. The characters became so beloved that fans were desperate to connect with them, and one of the easiest ways to do that was through the food the gals ate and the beverages they drank. One can argue that Sex and the City helped put these three foods on the map.

Carrie Bradshaw and her pals are responsible for the popularity of Cosmopolitans

Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte never shied away from a cocktail. While the ladies drank a variety of alcoholic beverages during the show’s six seasons, the Cosmopolitan became the most iconic. Carrie even tried to order the drink at a drive-thru burger joint in New Jersey once.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon pose for promotional photos for 'Sex and the City'
The cast of ‘Sex and the City’ | HBO/Getty Images

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So, what exactly is in a Cosmopolitan? A Cosmopolitan, served in a martini glass, uses vodka citron, a lemon-flavored vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice. Cranberry juice gives the cocktail it’s signature pink color. The cocktail’s actual origins are disputed its widely accepted that the drink gained popularity on the East Coast in the 1990s. It was further popularized when the ladies of Sex and the City began drinking them in nearly every bar scene that that series threw at fans.  

Magnolia Bakery was made famous by Sex and the City

While Carrie and her pals spent a lot of time in bars, they did a fair bit of eating, too. Miranda and Carrie loved to grab a bite together, and one of their most iconic scenes found them chowing down on cupcakes. The cupcakes they ate weren’t just any cupcakes, though. The scene was filmed in front of Magnolia Bakery. That one scene almost single-handedly propelled the modest bakeshop into the collective conscious.

The storefront of Magnolia Bakery's Rockefeller Center store on November 25, 2014
Magnolia Bakery | Noam Galai/WireImage

Before Sex and the City, Magnolia Bakery operated out of a single outpost in Manhattan. After the show and the fan tours, Magnolia Bakery expanded, with outposts throughout Manhattan and eventually throughout the United States. While Carrie and Miranda went wild for the cupcakes, Magnolia Bakery is best known today for its banana pudding, which fans from far and wide can purchase via Goldbelly.

Charlotte York put Tasti D-Lite on the map

Tasti D-Lite is a frozen yogurt brand that popped up in New York City in the 1980s. While fans in the Manhattan area enjoyed the culinary miracle for years before Sex and the City mentioned them, Charlotte’s adoration for the low-calorie treat helped put the frozen yogurt brand on the map. The show also paved the way for similarly delicious frozen dessert brands.

Tasti D-Lite cups are stacked at the tents in Bryant Park during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on September 9, 2008
Tasti D-Lite cups | Brian Ach/Getty Images for IMG

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Life & Thyme points out that Sex and the City interestingly used food. Tasti D-Lite served not only as a backdrop for an episode but became a metaphor, too. Carrie wasn’t thrilled with accepting a “watered-down version” of what people wanted, but Charlotte was surely OK with it. While you can’t say for certain that Sex and the City made frozen yogurt popular, the sudden appearance of dozens of Pinkberry stores and similar frozen yogurt chains after Charlotte declared her love for the dessert doesn’t feel like a coincidence.