Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail Drink

Lemon Drop Martini

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

This Lemon Drop Martini recipe has the ingredients you need for an unforgettable drink. Making it is a breeze, and the Lemon Drop is both sweet and tart.

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

Kick back with this zesty Lemon Drop Martini recipe! This tangy cocktail is a citrus lover's dream, made with vodka, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of Triple Sec.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

2 minutes

Servings:

1

Calories:

263 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or slice, for garnish, optional
  • Sugar, for rimming the glass, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass or Coupe Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Lemon Juicer
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Ice up your coupe glass to chill.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the shaker.
  • Add Triple Sec: Measure and pour 1 oz Triple Sec into the shaker.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Squeeze and add 1 oz fresh lemon juice.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Pour ½ oz simple syrup.
  • Add Ice: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.
  • Prep Garnish: Rim the edge of your coupe glass with a lemon slice and dip it in sugar if desired. Set aside.
  • Strain and Pour: Fine strain the mixture into your prepared coupe glass.
  • Garnish (optional): Add a lemon twist or slice for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: Gin can work as a substitute if you don't have vodka. It adds a botanical flavor that some people enjoy.
  • Triple Sec: If you're out of Triple Sec, use Cointreau or a splash of orange juice as a last resort.
  • Simple Syrup: If you don't have simple syrup, dissolve some sugar in hot water to make your own. You can also use honey for a different sweetness profile.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That's 16 oz of vodka, 8 oz of Triple Sec, 8 oz of lemon juice, and 4 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual sugar-rimmed martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist or slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka substitute or even water with a splash of lemon extract.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Opt for orange-flavored syrup or a splash of orange juice.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Simple Syrup: Ensure that the sugar you use for the simple syrup and rimming the glass is vegan. Some sugar brands use bone char in the refining process, so look for a brand that specifies it's vegan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
263
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.2
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.04
g
0
%
Sodium
 
11
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
21
g
7
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
20
g
22
%
Potassium
 
47
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.04
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
2
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
11
mg
13
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail Drink

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Kick back with this zesty Lemon Drop Martini recipe! This tangy cocktail is a citrus lover's dream, made with vodka, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of Triple Sec.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 263

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or slice - for garnish, optional
  • Sugar - for rimming the glass, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass or Coupe Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Lemon Juicer
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Ice up your coupe glass to chill.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the shaker.
  • Add Triple Sec: Measure and pour 1 oz Triple Sec into the shaker.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Squeeze and add 1 oz fresh lemon juice.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Pour ½ oz simple syrup.
  • Add Ice: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.
  • Prep Garnish: Rim the edge of your coupe glass with a lemon slice and dip it in sugar if desired. Set aside.
  • Strain and Pour: Fine strain the mixture into your prepared coupe glass.
  • Garnish (optional): Add a lemon twist or slice for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: Gin can work as a substitute if you don't have vodka. It adds a botanical flavor that some people enjoy.
  • Triple Sec: If you're out of Triple Sec, use Cointreau or a splash of orange juice as a last resort.
  • Simple Syrup: If you don't have simple syrup, dissolve some sugar in hot water to make your own. You can also use honey for a different sweetness profile.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That's 16 oz of vodka, 8 oz of Triple Sec, 8 oz of lemon juice, and 4 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual sugar-rimmed martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist or slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka substitute or even water with a splash of lemon extract.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Opt for orange-flavored syrup or a splash of orange juice.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Simple Syrup: Ensure that the sugar you use for the simple syrup and rimming the glass is vegan. Some sugar brands use bone char in the refining process, so look for a brand that specifies it's vegan.

 

What is a Lemon Drop Martini?

A Lemon Drop Martini is a cocktail that combines vodka, Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup. It’s a drink that’s both tangy and sweet, making it a popular choice for various occasions. People often enjoy a Lemon Drop Martini as a refreshing alternative to more traditional cocktails. You don’t have to be a bartender to appreciate its straightforward yet sophisticated appeal. The Lemon Drop Martini has earned its stripes as an official International Bartenders Association (IBA) cocktail, earning its place on the list together with other top classic drinks!

A side shot of a Lemon Drop Martini cocktail in a martini glass with a bar spoon on the side on a square wooden coaster placed on a green table and two lemons behind.

What is a Lemon Drop Martini made of – The Ingredients

Gather these ingredients to make a Lemon Drop Martini:

  • Vodka: Provides the alcoholic base and a clean, neutral backdrop for other flavors.
  • Triple Sec: Adds a touch of orange sweetness to balance the tartness of the lemon.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Injects the cocktail with its signature tangy citrus kick.
  • Simple Syrup: Sweetens the drink, rounding out the tart and bitter elements.
  • Ice Cubes: Chill the ingredients, making the cocktail refreshing.
  • Lemon Twist or Slice: A garnish that enhances the lemony aroma and visual appeal.
  • Sugar: Optional for rimming the glass; adds an extra layer of sweetness as you sip.

Vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and simple syrup laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Lemon Drop Martini?

Learn how to make a Lemon Drop Martini with our simple steps:

1
<p>Use some ice cubes to chill your martini glass.</p>

Use some ice cubes to chill your martini glass.

2
<p>Pour 2 oz of vodka into the shaker, laying the alcoholic foundation for your cocktail.</p>

Pour 2 oz of vodka into the shaker, laying the alcoholic foundation for your cocktail.

3
<p>Measure and add 1 oz of Triple Sec, introducing a hint of orange sweetness.</p>

Measure and add 1 oz of Triple Sec, introducing a hint of orange sweetness.

4
<p>Squeeze in 1 oz of fresh lemon juice, giving the cocktail its characteristic zesty kick.</p>

Squeeze in 1 oz of fresh lemon juice, giving the cocktail its characteristic zesty kick.

5
<p>Add ½ oz of simple syrup to balance out the tartness and bitterness.</p>

Add ½ oz of simple syrup to balance out the tartness and bitterness.

6
<p>Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes to ensure your drink will be ice-cold.</p>

Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes to ensure your drink will be ice-cold.

7
<p>Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds, mixing all the ingredients well.</p>

Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds, mixing all the ingredients well.

8
<p>Remove the ice cubes from your chilled glass.</p>

Remove the ice cubes from your chilled glass.

9
<p>Rim the edge of your martini glass with a lemon slice.</p>

Rim the edge of your martini glass with a lemon slice.

10
<p>Dip the rim of the glass in sugar, setting the stage for a sweet and tangy experience.</p>

Dip the rim of the glass in sugar, setting the stage for a sweet and tangy experience.

11
<p>Fine strain the shaken mixture into your prepared martini glass, leaving out the ice.</p>

Fine strain the shaken mixture into your prepared martini glass, leaving out the ice.

12
<p>Garnish the drink with a lemon twist or slice, adding a final touch of citrus flair. Enjoy your Lemon Drop Martini!</p>

Garnish the drink with a lemon twist or slice, adding a final touch of citrus flair. Enjoy your Lemon Drop Martini!

Best Vodka for a Lemon Drop Martini

When choosing the best vodka for your Lemon Drop Martini, Grey Goose stands out for its quality and smoothness. This French vodka is made from single-origin Picardie wheat and water from the Gensac-la-Pallue spring. The rigorous distillation process ensures a clean, crisp spirit that doesn’t overpower the lemon and Triple Sec flavors in the cocktail. Grey Goose’s neutral profile allows the other ingredients to shine, while its smooth finish makes each sip a pleasure.

A side shot of a Lemon Drop Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a square wooden coaster on a green table with a bar spoon and two lemons behind.

Using Gin instead of Vodka

Swapping vodka for gin in a Lemon Drop Martini can add herbal complexity to this citrusy cocktail. Gins like Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire bring a botanical profile that pairs well with lemon. If you’re going this route, stick to a classic dry gin to avoid overshadowing the lemon flavor. Since gin has its own distinct taste, you may want to reduce the amount of triple sec or limoncello to let the gin shine through. My suggestion? Use equal parts gin and fresh lemon juice, and adjust your sweeteners accordingly.

Using Limoncello instead of Triple Sec

Swapping triple sec for limoncello in your Lemon Drop Martini is a clever twist that elevates the cocktail. Limoncello brings a more intense lemon flavor and extra sweetness. Brands like Pallini or Villa Massa are solid picks for quality limoncello. Because limoncello is sweeter than triple sec, you should reduce or skip the simple syrup to avoid a sugar overload. Keep the vodka and fresh lemon juice in the mix for balance. So, here’s the game plan: Use an equal amount of limoncello instead of triple sec.

A Lemon Drop Martini cocktail, shot from above, in a martini glass with a bar spoon in the side on a square wooden coaster placed on a green table and two lemons on the side.

Variations

Ready to check out more twists? Here are some we really love:

  • Lavender Lemon Drop: The infusion of lavender into the simple syrup adds a floral note that complements the citrus flavors beautifully. I’m particularly fond of the soothing aroma of lavender, which adds a unique aromatic touch.
  • Elderflower Lemon Drop: The use of elderflower liqueur instead of Triple Sec lends a refined, floral sweetness, elevating the drink’s complexity with a delicate touch.
  • Ginger Lemon Drop: Featuring a ginger infusion, it provides a warm and spicy contrast to the lemon’s tartness. The zesty kick of ginger offers an invigorating twist to the traditional flavor.
  • Meyer Lemon Drop: Utilizing sweeter, less acidic Meyer lemon juice, it offers a softer citrus punch. The more subtle taste of Meyer lemon creates a refined and delicate citrus presence.
  • Tequila Lemon Drop: Replacing vodka with tequila gives the drink a robust, earthy flavor. The boldness of tequila provides an exciting dimension, contrasting well with the lemon’s brightness.
  • Raspberry Lemon Drop: The addition of raspberry liqueur introduces a berry-like sweetness that pairs well with the lemon. I enjoy the delightful contrast between the raspberry’s sweet-tart flavor and the zesty lemon.
  • Cucumber Lemon Drop: Muddling fresh cucumber slices adds a refreshing, garden-fresh twist. The crispness of cucumber offers a cool and refreshing quality, perfect for a light and rejuvenating option.
  • Vanilla Lemon Drop: Vanilla-infused vodka is used, adding a creamy, subtle sweetness. The smooth and comforting flavor of vanilla pairs wonderfully with lemon, creating a dessert-like appeal.
  • Whiskey Lemon Drop: Substituting whiskey for vodka creates a deeper, more complex flavor profile. The richness of whiskey accentuates the tartness of lemon in a bold and sophisticated way.

A side shot of a Lemon Drop Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a square wooden coaster placed on a green table and two lemon behind

History and Origin

The Lemon Drop Martini traces its roots back to the 1970s in the United States. Norman Jay Hobday, a bartender in San Francisco, is often credited with creating this citrusy concoction. He initially designed the drink as a sweet and sour alternative to traditional martinis, aiming to make a cocktail that was both accessible and delicious. The Lemon Drop quickly gained popularity, especially among those who found classic martinis too strong or bitter.

The cocktail’s name and flavor profile take inspiration from the lemon drop candy, a sweet and tart treat many people enjoyed as children. This nostalgic connection helped the cocktail resonate with a broad audience. Over the years, the drink has evolved, spawning numerous variations that incorporate different flavors and spirits.

 

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Lemon Drop Martini?
It contains approximately 200-250 calories, depending on the specific ingredients and their quantities.
How strong is a Lemon Drop Martini?
The strength can vary, but it typically has an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of around 25-30% or 50-60 proof.
What type of alcohol is used in a Lemon Drop Martini?
Vodka serves as the primary alcohol.
In which glass is a Lemon Drop Martini served?
Traditionally, you serve a the cocktail in a martini glass.
What does a Lemon Drop Martini taste like?
The drink offers a balanced blend of sweet and tart flavors, primarily featuring the zesty taste of lemon.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Lemon Drop Martini?
The classic ratio is 2 oz of vodka, 1 oz of Triple Sec, 1 oz of lemon juice, and ½ oz of simple syrup.
How is the ice served with a Lemon Drop Martini?
The cocktail is shaken with ice but strained when poured, so it's served "up" without ice in the glass.
Is Lemon Drop Martini a 3 ingredient cocktail?
The drink typically requires four main ingredients: vodka, Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup.
What is a Dirty Martini?
A Dirty Martini is a cocktail made with gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and olive brine. The olive brine gives it a salty, savory flavor

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