This Lemon Drop Martini is a lemon lovers dream, with the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors.
It packs a lemony punch.
This recipe, with 4 simple ingredients, is a quick and easy way to make the perfect lemon drop martini and tastes like sunshine in a glass.
Trees will be packed with lush Meyer lemons. These juicy lemons make the best cocktails. We love to serve them up as an aperitif for family and friends and order them on our girls night out.
Lemon Drop Martini Ingredients
- Large Meyer Lemons – see below for more about Meyer lemons
- Vodka – pick a smooth vodka because it’s the star of the show
- Simple Syrup – easy recipe below or read our full step-by-step post to make your own simple syrup.
- Sugar – to garnish the rim
- Ice – to chill the cocktail
How to make a Lemon Drop Vodka Martini
Instructions for making Lemon Drop Martinis:
- Prepare simple syrup, set aside, and let it cool. (See directions for preparing below)
- Coat a small plate with 1/4 cup of regular sugar and set aside
- With alemon juice squeezer, squeeze 1/2 of a large lemon into a cocktail shakerfilled with ice. Set aside the squeezed lemon for later
- Add 2.5 ounces of vodka
- Add a large splash of simple syrup
- Shake until the shaker is so cold it’s hard to hold
- Use the saved squeezed lemon and wet the rim of the glass by running it around the rim.
- Dip the wet martini glass rim in the plate of sugar to coat and make a perfect sugared rim. The sugared rim off sets the tartness of the lemon juice.
- Pour the shaken mixture with the lemon drop cocktail into the martini glass with it’s homemade lemon sugar rim
- Top the martini with a slice of lemon or lemon wedge
- Serve and enjoy!
The origin of this favorite cocktail
The first idea for this delicious cocktail was inspired by the original lemon drop candy. The candy blended together both the sweet and sour flavors. The original drink was served in the 1970’s at Henry’s Africa Bar, by the bartender Norman Jay Hobday. He first served it in a regular cocktail glass. It soon became a classic cocktail in the city of San Francisco, where they now serve it in a chilled martini glass.
Equipment needed to make this Classic Martini
How do you make Simple Syrup?
Simple syrup is easy to make with the basic ingredients of just equal parts of sugar and water. This is an easy overview, if you need more directions just out our simple syrup post.
- Heat water in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. (This recipe calls for 1/2 cup water)
- Stir in sugar and cook until it is fully dissolved. (This recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar)
- Cool to room temperature before using
- Can be stored for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
What is in a Lemon Drop Martini?
This delicious drink is made with 4 main ingredients. Juice from fresh lemons, vodka, and simple syrup. We like to make this simple drink with Meyer lemons. If Meyer lemons are not available you can use any type of regular lemons which is easily available.
Meyer lemons are a cross of a citron and mandarin orange, which makes them sweeter than other varieties of lemons. They are a favorite and we use them in all types of recipes.
The great thing about our recipe is you can control the sweet/tart level in your cocktail. Add more simple syrup for more sweetness or additional fresh lemon juice for more tartness.
The calorie count for our Lemon Drop martini recipe is just 125 calories per cocktail making it a great Happy Hour cocktail choice!
What makes a Martini a Martini?
The definition of a Martini is a cocktail made with gin or vodka and dry vermouth. Over the years the modern-day martini has transformed into a mixologist or home bartenders dream cocktail, allowing for your individual creativity.
Additional Martinis to shake things up!
- French Martini
- Pumpkin Spice Martini
- Orange Creamsicle Martini
- White Chocolate Snowflake Martinis
- Chocolate Martini
- Red Velvet Martinis
Lemon Drop Martini
- Martini/Cocktail shaker
- Martini glass
- Lemon juice squeezer
- ½ large lemon
- 2 ½ ounces vodka
- 1 large splash simple syrup (see recipe below)
- 1 cup ice for the shaker
- ¼ cup sugar for the glass rim
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ lemon cut into slices
- Prepare simple syrup and let it cool. (See directions for preparing below)
- Coat a small plate with 1/4 cup of sugar, set aside
- With a lemon juice squeezer, squeeze 1/2 of a large lemon into a martini shaker filled with ice. Set aside the squeezed lemon for later
- Add 2.5 ounces of vodka
- Add a large splash of cooled simple syrup
- Shake until the shaker is so cold its hard to hold
- Used the saved squeezed lemon and wet the rim of the glass by running it around the rim.
- Dip glass rim in plate of sugar to coat the rim
- Pour the shaken drink into the prepared martini glass
- Top martini with a slice of lemon
- Bring the sugar and water to a simmer and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Reserve remaining simple syrup in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
- Simple syrup can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator