Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail Recipe

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Lemon Drop Martini Nutrition Facts






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 Lemon Drop Martini is a popular cocktail that originated in the 1970s in California. It was created by Norman Jay Hobday, the founder of Henry Africa's bar in San Francisco. The drink quickly gained popularity and became a staple in many bars and restaurants. The Lemon Drop Martini is a favorite among those who enjoy citrus-flavored cocktails and is often served as a refreshing alternative to traditional martinis.

  • Originated in the 1970s
  • Created by Norman Jay Hobday
  • Popular in California

How Lemon Drop Martini Tastes?

The Lemon Drop Martini has a bright, zesty, and slightly sweet taste. The combination of lemon juice and simple syrup creates a perfect balance of sour and sweet, while the vodka adds a smooth and strong kick. The sugar rim adds an extra touch of sweetness to each sip.

Interesting facts about Lemon Drop Martini

  • The Lemon Drop Martini was named after the popular lemon-flavored candy, which shares a similar sweet and sour taste.
  • The cocktail is often served in a martini glass with a sugar rim, adding a touch of elegance to the presentation.
  • The Lemon Drop Martini can also be made as a shooter, making it a popular choice for parties and celebrations.


A few good options for Lemon Drop Martini are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The heart of any martini, 2 oz of vodka provides the smooth, strong backbone of the Lemon Drop Martini. It's neutral in flavor, which allows the lemon to shine through as the star. Too much vodka, and you'll be oversaturated with spirits; too little, and you may as well be sipping lemonade!

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

With 1 oz of lemon juice, we bring pucker-power and zest to the mix - essential for that citrusy punch. Lemon juice's natural acidity balances the sweetness of the syrup. Miss it out, and you lose the 'lemon' in Lemon Drop.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

Sweetness alert! The 0.5 oz of simple syrup is here to take the edge off. It’s just enough to dial down the acidity without ending up in candyland. Leave this out, and your drink will be on the tart side - not everyone's glass of martini.

Alex Green


Ice chills down the heat. We're not serving lukewarm disappointment here. Skip the ice and your cocktail is tepid and uninviting. Plus, it helps to dilute the drink a tad, which is perfect for evening out the flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Sugar (for rimming)

The sugar rim is the tiara on this liquid jewel - it provides a crunchy, sweet prelude with each sip. No sugar rim? The cocktail loses its touch of elegance and contrast in textures.

Emma Rose

Lemon Twist

Last, but not least, the lemon twist. Garnish isn't just for looks - it adds aroma and a hint of lemon oil to the cocktail. It's the final note in our zesty symphony. Without it, you'll miss that extra zing as you go in for a sip.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Lemon Drop Martini Drink

  1. Prepare the martini glass:
    • Wet the rim of the glass with a lemon wedge.
    • Dip the rim in sugar to create a sugar rim.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the following ingredients:
    • 2 oz vodka
    • 1 oz lemon juice
    • 0.5 oz simple syrup
    • Add ice to the shaker.
  3. Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into the prepared martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the martini glass before preparing the cocktail to keep it cold longer.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a brighter, fresher flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail shaker until it's frosty on the outside for a well-chilled drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Seafood such as shrimp or calamari, especially with a tangy dipping sauce.
  • Bruschetta: The crisp acidity of the cocktail cuts through the richness of the tomatoes and cheese.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken with a lemon herb seasoning. The bright flavors of lemon in both the dish and the drink enhance each other.
  • Light Pasta Dishes: Think angel hair pasta with a garlic lemon sauce.


  • Lemon Sorbet or Lemon-based desserts: To complement the citrus notes of the cocktail.
  • Cheesecake: The creamy texture will balance the sharpness of the Lemon Drop Martini.

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What you could change in Lemon Drop Martini

  • Vodka: Can be substituted with gin for a different flavor profile.
  • Simple Syrup: Can be replaced with honey or agave syrup for a natural sweetener.
  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice can be used for a more tart flavor.

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Lemon Drop Martini

  • Ingredients: Replace 0.5 oz of vodka with cucumber-flavored vodka.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, garnishing with a cucumber ribbon instead of a lemon twist.
  • Taste Change: Adds a garden-fresh twist; it's cool, crisp, and perfect for a spa day vibe.

Raspberry Lemon Drop Martini

  • Ingredients: Add 0.5 oz of raspberry liqueur.
  • Recipe: Include the liqueur during shaking. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
  • Taste Change: Introduces a fruity blast, combining sweet and tart for a berry-licious experience.

Honey Lemon Drop Martini

  • Ingredients: Swap simple syrup for equal parts honey syrup.
  • Recipe: Make honey syrup by mixing equal parts honey and water. Use in place of simple syrup.
  • Taste Change: Provides a rich, floral sweetness that rounds out the sharpness of the lemon, for a smoother sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Lemon Drop Martini

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

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 Lemon Drop Martini

What is the best vodka to use in a Lemon Drop Martini?

Most bartenders recommend a high-quality vodka. Good choices can include Belvedere, Grey Goose, or Tito's.

How can I make a Lemon Drop Martini without a cocktail shaker?

If you don't have a cocktail shaker, you can use a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Just ensure all ingredients are well mixed.

How can I make my Lemon Drop Martini less sweet?

You can adjust the sweetness of your Lemon Drop Martini by reducing the amount of simple syrup. Experiment until you find the balance that suits your taste.

Can I premix a batch of Lemon Drop Martinis for a party?

Yes, you can. Mix all the ingredients (except for the ice) and store it in the fridge. Just shake up individual servings with ice and strain into glass when ready to serve.

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