How to Make a Lemon Drop Martini

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The best lemon drop martini recipe! We cover all the basics for making a bright, citrus cocktail with fresh lemon juice and vodka. This recipe uses 3 simple ingredients and has an incredibly fresh taste. It’s perfect to sip year-round!

If you’re looking for a delicious and refreshing drink to enjoy this summer, look no further than the lemon drop martini! This cocktail has been around for years and is still one of the most popular drinks out there.

Also, check out our lemon drop shots too!

lemon drop martini in a coupe glass with a lemon twist

We will teach you everything you need to know about making a lemon drop martini at home. We’ll discuss the history of the drink, what ingredients to use, and why it’s called a lemon drop.

The bright, refreshing flavor of the lemon drop martini makes this easy cocktail recipe perfect for summer. Our lemon martini is one of the best cocktails and uses basic ingredients. It has a fresh taste that is great for sipping on a hot day.

If refreshing lemonade is the official drink of summer for kids, then the cocktail version is a great way for adults to join in the fun.

A lemon drop cocktail is a perfect blend of sweet and sour. It’s great for summer picnics and Mother’s Day brunch.

How to Make A Lemon Drop Martini

We’ll cover everything you need to know to make this Cocktail, answer questions, and share our expert tips.

If you prefer to jump to the recipe, scroll to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Bar Tools

Lemon drop martini on a marble table with a yellow napkin, cocktail shaker and a bowl of lemon sugar.

What is a Lemon Drop Made Of?

If you’re wondering what is in a lemon drop martini, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Vodka – Use good quality vodka for this cocktail. See all of our recommendations below.
  • Large Lemon – Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for this cocktail. Bottled lemon juice just doesn’t have the same flavor. One lemon provides approximately three tablespoons of juice.
  • Simple Syrup – Follow our simple syrup guide! It’s a mixture of sugar and water, melted together to create a liquid sweetener.
  • Sugar – Use this for the rim of the glass.

Add a shot of limoncello, a delicious lemon liqueur, for a limoncello lemon drop with an extra dose of sweetness and a burst of lemon flavor!

Lemon drop martini with a lemon twist and sugared rim.

4 Steps to Make a Lemon Martini

Make the simple syrup – To make the simple syrup by simmering 1/2 cup water and 1/2 sugar until sugar has dissolved. 

Squeeze fresh lemon juice using a citrus squeezer.

Shake – Once you’ve made the simple syrup, squeezed lemons for fresh juice, and prepared the sugared rim, you’re ready to shake! Add the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake for 30 seconds so the ingredients become very chilled and the water can dilute and mix the flavors.

Strain into a sugar-rimmed glass with a lemon twist! 

Best Lemons for a Lemon Drop Martini

There are many different types of lemons out there, but not all of them are created equal when it comes to making a lemon drop martini. You want to use a lemon that is nice and juicy so that you can get plenty of lemon juice for your cocktail.

We recommend using either Meyer lemons or Eureka lemons. Both of these varieties are nice and juicy with a thin skin, making them perfect for juicing.

Gold pineapple shaped cocktail shaker.

Tips for Recipe Success

A lemon drop is one of our favorite summer cocktails. Its bright and citrus flavor is sunshine in a coupe! Here are tips for making the perfect lemon drop:

  • Shake with ice for 30 seconds to dilute the ingredients. This gives the cocktail a balanced flavor.
  • Use high-quality ingredients when making martinis. Each ingredient is crucial to making a great cocktail.
  • Always use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. It makes a huge difference in the taste of this drink. You can use Meyers lemons too. 
  • Give the drink a pretty garnish for a charming presentation. 
  • Swap out plain vodka for citron vodka.
  • Add a dash of orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or triple sec.

How to Garnish a Lemon Drop Martini

Once you’ve made your lemon drop martini, it’s time to add a fun garnish to it. The most common garnish for this cocktail is a lemon wedge, lemon wheel, lemon slice or a twist.

If you want to get fancy, you can also garnish your drink with a sugar rim. To do this, simply wet the rim of your glass with a lemon wedge and then dip it in a plate of sugar.

Lemon drop martini with lemon twist and sugared rim in a coupe glass.

How Do You Make Lemon Twists?

Lemon twists are the perfect garnish for the best lemon drop martini! Here’s how to make one:

  • Slice a ring from a fresh lemon peel.
  • Cut through one side of the peel and remove the pulp so you just have a strip of the peel.
  • Curl the peel into its desired twist and it will naturally hold its shape.

What to Serve a Lemon Drop Martini In

A lemon drop martini is typically served in chilled martini glasses. If you don’t have a martini glass, you can also use a chilled champagne flute or a cocktail glass.

Lemon drop martini with a lemon twist and sugared rim.

Lemon Sugar Rim 

The sugared rim is an important part of a lemon drop martini! We use sugar and lemon zest to make a homemade lemon sugar rim.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a shallow dish. Use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together to infuse the sugar. 

Using water, wet the rim of the martini glass then dip it straight down into the sugar to coat the glass.

We love infusing sugar into recipes. Find more ideas for infusing sugar here!

Coupe glass turned upside down in lemon infused sugar to coat the rim.

Benefits of Lemon Juice

Not only will lemon juice add a refreshing zing to your cocktail, but it also has health benefits!

Lemon juice is packed with vitamin C and can reduce your risk for heart disease and boost your immune system!

Lemon juice also has fiber that aids in digestive health and can help you lose weight. Fiber from the lemon juice expands in your stomach, making you feel full for a longer amount of time.

So drink those lemon drop martinis and feel guilt-free!

Lemon Drop Mocktail

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail, simply use zero-proof vodka or omit the vodka and add extra lemon juice and simple syrup to taste.

Castle & Key vodka bottle

Best Vodka to Use

Vodka is a clear, distilled liquor made from grain or potatoes. It originates from Russia and has become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world.

Since this lemon drop recipe requires vodka, you may need some recommendations! First, use good quality, smooth vodka to make the best drink.

Personally, we love to use local, small-batch vodkas if you can. The best place to find these are at local liquor stores. However, there are some great vodkas out there that are affordable too:

  • Titos is also a good, affordable choice for Vodka.
  • Reyka Vodka – Reyka is a premium vodka that is hand-crafted in Iceland. It’s very good quality for a great price. We recommend this vodka often. It was also awarded Gold at the International Spirits Challenge.
  • Frankly Vodka – Organic vodka that uses no refined sugars, gluten, GMOs, synthetic pesticides, and artificial colors.
  • Ocean Vodka – Another great organic vodka, sustainably produced in Hawaii.
  • King St. Vodka – A female lead vodka brand is made with alkaline water and gluten-free corn, it’s distilled seven times for purity.
  • Vapid Vodka – This is a California vodka with a clean, subtle sweetness.
  • Grey Goose – Its spicy notes work well in a variety of cocktails, making it a perfect addition to any bar.

However, whatever you happen to have on hand will work well in a lemon drop!

When to Serve a Lemon Drop Martini 

Serve this glass of sunshine for happy hour, an after-dinner drink, or at any of these fun occasions:


Pool Party 

Birthday Party it’s also perfect for a last-minute birthday party!

Carnival Party

Garden Party 

Tropical Party

Baby and Bridal Shower

More Classic Martini Recipes

If you’re looking for more martini recipes, check out any of these:

Gingerbread Martini and Christmas Martini

Dirty Martini 

Pink Cranberry Martini 

Apple Martini

Peppermint Martini

Lemon drop martini with a lemon twist.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Was the Lemon Drop Invented?

The History of the Lemon Drop Martini. The lemon drop martini is a classic cocktail that has been around for many years. It’s believed that the drink was first created in the 1970s by a bartender named Norman Jay Hobday in San Francisco. He believed that if they came to his bar for this cocktail, the men would follow and his business would be a success! The drink gained popularity in the 1980s and has been a staple at bars and restaurants.

What is a lemon drop martini?

A lemon drop martini is a cocktail made with fresh lemon juice, vodka, and simple syrup. It’s a refreshing and delicious drink with a perfect balance. It’s one of our favorite cocktails to make and is perfect for summer.

What’s the alcohol content in a lemon martini?

The alcohol content in a lemon drop martini is approximately 17% ABV.

What does a lemon drop martini taste like?

A lemon drop martini is tart and sweet with a strong lemon flavor. It has a refreshing taste, similar to a bee’s knees cocktail. It can also be compared to the old-school lemon drop candy that we all love!

More Classic Cocktail Recipes You’ll Love!

How to Make a Bee’s Knees

How to Make a Manhatten 

Old Fashioned Cocktail 

How to Make a French 75 

Smoky Lemon Moscow Mules

Also check out our favorite brunch recipes, the best-mixed drinks, gin cocktails, vodka cocktails, and cheap drinks to make at home!

Let us know what you think!

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Lemon Drop Martini

An easy, fresh and delicious recipe for a Lemon Drop martini!
4.86 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 Lemon Drop Martini
Calories: 213kcal
Author: Eden


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
  • 1 ounce simple syrup


  • Make a small batch of simple syrup and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Make fresh lemon juice. 1 lemon will be enough for one cocktail.
  • Add the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds or more.
  • Strain into a martini or coupe glass and serve immediately.
    lemon recipe martini

Lemon Sugared Rim

  • To make a lemon sugared rim, pour 1/4 cup sugar in a shallow dish, add 1 tablespoon lemon zest and mix using your fingers to blend the lemon flavor and fragrance into the sugar.
  • Wet the outer edge of the glass, then dip it straight into the sugar to coat the rim!


Always use fresh lemon juice. 
Any vodka will work for this recipe, the better the quality the better the drink.


Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin C: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
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Lemon martini recipe.

7 thoughts on “How to Make a Lemon Drop Martini”

  1. I made this with Tito’s vodka and it was great! I bookmarked the recipe so I can easily find it later. Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    Super Highly recommended! Thanks a lot for sharing this super easy to make recipe! Fam really loves it! Will surely have this again!


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