Cocktail Recipe for Simple Lemon Drop Martini

How to make a perfect lemon drop martini cocktail with a homemade lemon sugar rim. This is one of our absolute favorite cocktails to make at home.

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Lemon Drop Martini Recipe Video


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⭐️ When I’m not making lemon drops, I’m shaking up a perfect cosmopolitan cocktail!

How to make the best lemon drop martini

The key to the best lemon drop martini is balancing sour and sweet. Here are four things to keep in mind when making lemon drop martinis at home:

  1. Use Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice. The juice from a bottle just won’t cut it here. For one lemon drop drink, you will need 1 ounce of lemon juice or the juice from half a large lemon.
  2. Use quality vodka. Since this is a martini, there’s quite a bit of vodka called for. You don’t need to go straight to the top shelf, but choose a smooth vodka. A few of our favorites are Kettle One, Stolichnaya (Stoli), and Tito’s.
  3. Everything should be really cold. A lukewarm martini is no fun, so be sure to shake the heck out of it — if you want to go the extra mile, chill the martini glasses, too.
  4. Add a lemon sugar rim. You’ve probably noticed rim sugar sold at the store. They are a great idea, but honestly, much easier to make at home yourself.
Lemon Drop Martini

Adding a sugar rim

We add a simple lemon sugar rim to our martini glasses before pouring in our lemon drop cocktail. You could stick with plain sugar, but since you’ve already bought lemons for the fresh lemon juice, why not use the zest and make lemon sugar? To do it, rub the zest of one lemon into 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Easy!

Lemon Sugar

Inspired by the lemon drop shot

The lemon drop shot inspires these martinis. Have you had it before? To make a lemon drop shot, you will need the following:

  • 1 part cold vodka
  • 1 part cold fresh lemon juice
  • Splash simple syrup

A standard shot glass is 1.5 ounces, so you’ll need a little less than 3/4 ounce of vodka and lemon juice in order to fit some simple syrup. You can add a sugar rim to the shot glass before filling.

I’m so happy that we turned this lemon drop shot into its own martini cocktail! It’s tart, sweet, and delicious. See the easy cocktail recipe below!

Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail

Easy Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail

When making lemon drop martinis, use good-quality vodka and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and keep everything cold. A few of our favorite mid-priced vodka brands are Kettle One, Stolichnaya (Stoli), and Tito’s.

If you plan to make lemon sugar, removing the zest from the lemon before juicing them for the martini is best. When you need to moisten the edge of the glass, use the leftover lemon halves after juicing.

Makes 1 drink

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You Will Need

Lemon Drop Martini

2 ounces (1/4 cup) quality vodka, try a citron vodka

3/4 ounce (1 ½ tablespoons) Cointreau or triple sec

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh squeezed lemon juice (Juice from 1/2 large lemon)

3/4 ounce (1 ½ tablespoons) simple syrup, see our recipe for simple syrup


Lemon sugar, for glass rim

Lemon Sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Zest from 1 lemon


  • Make Martini
  • 1Moisten the rim of a chilled martini glass with the juiced lemon, turn the glass upside down, twist into the lemon sugar, and set aside.

    2Add vodka, Cointreau (or triple sec), lemon juice, simple syrup, and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 30 seconds or until very cold. Strain into the prepared martini glass and serve immediately.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

  • Simple syrup: Use store-bought or make your own simple syrup.
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

Nutrition Per Serving
0 g
21 g
Dietary Fiber
0 g
Total Sugars
20 g
Total Fat
0 g
Saturated Fat
0 g
0 mg


Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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