Chilton Cocktail Recipe

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Chilton Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:14%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Chilton cocktail is a refreshing and classic drink that originated in Lubbock, Texas. It was created by Dr. Chilton, a local physician, who wanted a light and thirst-quenching cocktail to enjoy after a long day at work. The Chilton quickly gained popularity and became a staple in West Texas bars and beyond.

  • The Chilton is especially popular during hot summer months, as its refreshing taste is perfect for cooling down.
  • This cocktail is a favorite among those who enjoy citrus flavors and a light, crisp drink.

How Chilton Tastes?

The Chilton cocktail is a delightful combination of sour, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors. The lemon juice provides a bright and zesty taste, while the club soda adds a subtle sweetness and effervescence. The vodka gives the drink a smooth and clean finish.

Interesting facts about Chilton

  • The Chilton is sometimes referred to as the 'Lubbock Lemonade' due to its origins and refreshing lemon flavor.
  • This cocktail is often served in a salt-rimmed glass, adding a savory contrast to the citrusy taste.
  • The Chilton is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed during a casual gathering or a more formal event.


A few good options for Chilton are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The backbone of many cocktails, 2 oz of vodka provides a smooth but neutral alcohol base that allows the flavors of the cocktail to shine through. Too much vodka, and you might find yourself walking a tightrope without a net; too little, and the drink is like a party that doesn’t quite start. Alternatives? Try gin for an herbal twist, or tequila for a Chilton with a south-of-the-border kick.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

Sour makes your taste buds shout 'Encore!' 1 oz is the perfect amount to provide a fresh, tangy kick without puckering up your lips like a cartoon cat. No lemon juice? Then you’re missing the zing that brings everything together. Substitution? Lime juice works, but it's like dancing to a different beat.

Alex Green

Club Soda

4 oz of this fizzy friend adds effervescence and lightness, lifting the spirit of the drink both literally and figuratively. Without it, the Chilton turns into a flat, two-dimensional puzzle missing a piece. Club soda is the applause at the end of the performance.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

Here's a touch of sweetness with 0.5 oz. It’s like the friend who whispers, 'You're doing great,' when you're nervous. No syrup? The drink becomes a one-sided conversation on bitterness. As an alternative, agave syrup can step in, offering a lower glycemic index cameo with a similar supportive role.

Emma Rose


It’s the cool factor — literally. Ice chills the drink, tempers the strength, and adds a little dilution, which can be a blessing in disguise. Without ice, the cocktail's a no-go; it’s like entering a sauna fully clothed.

Alex Green


For rimming the glass, salt's the wink across the bar; it heightens the taste and adds texture contrast. Forget the salt, and the Chilton loses its salty seaside charm. Want to shake it up? Try flavored salts or a sugar rim for a different kind of flirtation.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Wedge

For garnish, this sunny citrus sails on the rim like a tiny, zestful boat signaling, 'Drink me, I'm delicious!' It adds a visual appeal, a hint of flavor, and an interactive experience.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Chilton Drink

  1. Prepare the glass:
    • Wet the rim of a highball or Collins glass with a lemon wedge.
    • Dip the rim in salt to coat it evenly.
  2. In a shaker, combine the following ingredients:
    • 2 oz vodka
    • 1 oz lemon juice
    • 0.5 oz simple syrup
    • Ice
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into the prepared glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Top with 4 oz of club soda and gently stir.
  6. Garnish with a lemon wedge on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor and brightness.
  • Adjust the amount of simple syrup to your preferred level of sweetness.
  • Experiment with flavored vodkas, such as citrus or berry, for a unique twist on the classic Chilton.

Perfect Pairings


  • Crudites - Light and healthy vegetable sticks, perfect for accentuating the refreshing nature of the Chilton cocktail.
  • Salted Nuts - Their saltiness will enhance the saline rim of the cocktail.
  • Chips and Salsa - The acidity of the salsa contrasts pleasantly with the zesty lemon in the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken - Its simplicity and versatility make it an ideal partner for the clean flavors of the Chilton.
  • Fish Tacos - The tangy flavors from the lemon juice complement the fish beautifully.
  • Light Pasta Dishes - Try with a lemon butter sauce to echo the citrus notes of the cocktail.


  • Sorbet - A light, fruity sorbet will cleanse the palate without overpowering the subtlety of the drink.
  • Lemon Bars - To match and amplify the lemony goodness of the Chilton.

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What you could change in Chilton

  • Vodka: You can replace vodka with gin for a different flavor profile.
  • Simple Syrup: If you prefer a less sweet drink, you can omit the simple syrup or use less.

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And of course - twists🍹

The Spicy Chilton

Ingredients: 2 oz Vodka, 1 oz Lemon Juice, 0.5 oz Simple Syrup, 4 oz Club Soda, Ice, Salt & Chili Powder for the rim, Lemon Wedge, 1 slice Jalapeño. Recipe: Rim the glass with a mixture of salt and chili powder. Shake the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice. Strain and pour into the glass then top with club soda and a jalapeño slice for an extra kick. This twist adds a spicy zing, giving the cocktail a warm vs. cool contrast and heat that some like to pair with their refreshment.

The Herbal Chilton

Ingredients: 2 oz Gin, 1 oz Lemon Juice, 0.5 oz Elderflower Syrup, 4 oz Tonic Water, Ice, Cucumber Slices for garnish. Recipe: Swap out vodka for gin and simple syrup for elderflower syrup. Top with tonic water instead of club soda. Garnish with a fresh cucumber slice. The result is a more floral and herbal profile, which is like walking through a fragrant garden in a glass.

The Sweet & Sour Chilton

Ingredients: 2 oz Vodka, 1 oz Lime Juice, 0.5 oz Agave Syrup, 4 oz Ginger Beer, Ice, Mint Leaves for garnish. Recipe: Use lime juice instead of lemon and agave syrup in place of simple syrup. Replace club soda with ginger beer and add a sprig of mint. This has a sweeter and spicier taste, for those who like things a little less conventional but a lot more adventurous.

In case you forgot basics how to make Chilton

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Chilton

What is the best type of vodka to use for a Chilton cocktail?

You can use any vodka of your preference. However, for the best quality taste, a top-shelf vodka like Grey Goose or Absolut might be recommended.

Is Chilton a strong cocktail?

The alcohol content in a Chilton cocktail depends on the vodka used. With a standard 2 oz serving of vodka, the drink is not overwhelmingly strong.

What are some similar cocktails to the Chilton?

Close relatives of the Chilton include other sour vodka cocktails like the Lemon Drop Martini or a classic Vodka Soda cocktail, but with more emphasis on lemon.

Can I prepare a Chilton cocktail in advance?

It's best to prepare Chilton cocktails fresh, but if you have to prepare it in advance, mix all the ingredients except the club soda. Right before serving, add the club soda for the fizz.

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