Lemon Drop Martini

Lemon Drop Martini

The Spruce Eats / Claire Cohen

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
125 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 125
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 0g
Calcium 8mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The lemon drop martini is one of the best vodka martinis and a highlight modern martini menus. It's so popular that it has inspired a number of ready-to-drink variations. However, the recipe is so easy that you don't need a mix, and the fresh taste is far better than any bottled lemon drop can offer.

Like many of the best cocktails, the lemon drop martini requires just a few ingredients. You'll choose your favorite vodka and shake that with lemon juice and simple syrup. Really, that's it!

This is a great dessert drink and a fabulous choice when you want a cocktail with a bit of pucker and a hint of sweetness. You can also adapt it to suit your personal taste and have fun adding other flavors to the mix.


Click Play to See This Easy and Fresh Lemon Drop Martini Recipe Come Together


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 ounce simple syrup (to taste)
  • Optional: 1/2 ounce limoncello
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the ingredients.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • Simple drinks like this deserve—and almost require—the best ingredients. The foundation is vodka, so begin building the best tasting cocktail possible by choosing a smooth vodka. There are many fantastic premium vodkas to choose from and, if your budget is tight, you can also find some nice inexpensive vodkas.
  • To get the absolute best lemon drop, the lemon juice and syrup should both be fresh. Neither fresh juice or homemade syrup is difficult to make or store and the difference in taste proves that they're worth it.
  • If you find the drink to be a little too tart, add more syrup next time. Likewise, if it's a bit too sweet for your taste, pour more lemon juice.
  • The limoncello is a fun addition, but it's not absolutely necessary. If you don't have it, make the lemon drop with juice and syrup alone—that's when you might want to increase the syrup to make up for the sweetness.
  • Quite often, the lemon drop is served with a sugar rim: Wipe a lemon wedge around the glass to wet the surface before dipping it in a small dish of white sugar, then mix up the drink. It's a brilliant introduction to the sweet and sour drink you're about to sip!


  • Add extra flavor with citrus or another fruit vodka.
  • Fruit syrups are simple to make. Berries are a nice pairing for the tart lemon juice.
  • Floral syrups can also add a fun twist. For instance, a lavender simple syrup creates a lovely lavender lemon drop martini. In spring, get a similar flavor by harvesting lilac blooms for a lilac lemon drop martini.
  • Another simple variation adds 1/4 ounce Cointreau and uses only 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup. This brings in an orange undertone that really complements the sweetened lemon.
  • If you're in the mood for a shot, try the lemon drop shot. It has the same great flavor in an interactive shooter that's quite fun.

DIY Lemon Drop Martini Mix

Lemon drop martini mixes are, essentially, a lemon sour—sweetened lemon juice in a convenient pour-and-shake package. You can replicate that by making a fresh lemon sour at home: Replace the lime juice in a standard sour mix recipe with lemon juice.

The advantage of pouring lemon juice and simple syrup separately is that you can adjust the sweet and sour to taste. You can still get that customization in a homemade lemon sour: Take notes while mixing up the martini with the individual ingredients until you find an ideal balance. Use that sweet-sour ratio when making your lemon sour and bottle it. This makes it even easier to enjoy a lemon drop anytime you like.

How Strong Is a Lemon Drop Martini?

The lemon drop martini has an alcohol content that's typical of fruity vodka martinis. On average, it shakes up to about 20 percent ABV (40 proof), which is half the strength of a straight shot of vodka. Keep this in mind because the cocktail's sweet taste makes it easy to drink one too many!

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