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Lemon Drop Martini

The lemon drop martini is a classic for a reason. This refreshing cocktail is made simply with vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice, and simple syrup for the perfect balance of sour and sweet.

The classic glass in front of the curved martini glass with lemons floating in the cocktail and on the table

It is well known that I prefer my cocktails to have a higher ratio of sour to sweet; usually I’ll mix a 2:1 ratio. But for the lemon martini, I mix the lemon juice and simple syrup in almost equal measure.  That’s because the lemon, on its own, is so tart and astringent. The simple syrup and the Cointreau soften the lemon’s tartness and strong flavor.

With a 3/4 to 1 ratio, the lemon in this lemon drop classic martini doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. In fact, the drink is well balanced and tart enough to be refreshing without making your lips pucker.

In my opinion, this is the best lemon drop martini recipe out there.

Want to up your lemon martini game? Use my lemon infused vodka in this recipe.

Helpful tips

  • Since lemon is a sour fruit, some people prefer an equal amount of simple syrup to lemon juice. I prefer a ratio that is slightly more sour than sweet – so a .75 to 1 ratio of sweet to sour. Try these proportions first and taste the result before you add more simple syrup if you ultimately want a sweeter taste.
  • The way to pick a great lemon at the market is to first heft it in your hand. The heavier lemons have more juice than the lighter ones.
  • When picking a lemon, smell it too. The more lemon fragrance, the fresher the lemon.
  • Try to gauge the thickness of the rind. The thinner the rind, the more juice it will yield.
  • Before juicing the lemon, roll it between your palm and a hard surface like a counter. Doing this will help release the juice.
  • I like having lemon wheels as garnish, but you can use a lemon twist, add some lemon zest or lemon wedges instead.
  • Some people like to rim the glasses with granulated sugar. I find that too sweet but try it both ways to see what you prefer.

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How to make a lemon drop martini

Pre-step

Get 2 martini glasses and a measuring glass. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes and pour the ingredients in the cocktail shaker once they are measured out.

Also, cut a few lemon slices. I like to use thin lemon wheels because they float nicely in the cocktail.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – vodka, Cointreau or orange liqueur like triple sec, lemon and simple syrup.

Lemon, vodka, Cointreau and simple syrup and the glassware and shaker in the background

Step two

Measure 4 ounces of vodka.  (I use Grey Goose.) (A)

Step three

Measure 1.5 ounces of Cointreau. (B)

Vodka and Cointreau measured out with the bottles in the background

Fresh Lemon Juice

Step four

Squeeze enough lemons to yield 2 ounces of lemon juice. (Read tips above – I only had to use one lemon.) (C)

Step five

Measure 1.5 ounces of simple syrup and slice two thin lemon wheels from a fresh lemon. (D)

Lemon juice and simple syrup with lemon and the bottle in the background

Step six

Cap shaker, shake for at least 20 seconds, then strain and divide the contents into each cocktail glass. Float a lemon wheel in each glass.

A classic martini glass filled with the lemon drink with the curved martini glass and lemons in the background

And a closer view of the lemon drop martini.

Lemon wheels floating in two martini glasses filled with the lemon cocktail

Let’s look at the vertical view.

Vertical view of the lemon martini with the smaller glass in front

But let’s bring the fun glass in front.

Curved martini glass in vertical view with the cocktail in it with lemons on the table

I hope you enjoyed this lemon drop martini recipe!

And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below.  I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST  to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

The classic martini filled with the lemon martini with lemon wheels floating in it and lemons on the table

Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail

The lemon drop martini is a classic for a reason. This refreshing cocktail is made simply with vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice, and simple syrup for the perfect balance of sour and sweet.
4.91 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: Cocktails
Keyword: lemon cocktail, lemon drop, lemon drop cocktail, lemon drop martini
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 Cocktails
Calories: 259kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces vodka (I used Grey Goose)
  • 1.5 ounce Cointreau (or triple sec)
  • 2 ounces lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1.5 ounces simple syrup

Garnish

  • 2 lemon wheels

Instructions

  • Fill cocktail shaker 1/2 way with ice
  • Add vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice and simple syrup
    4 ounces vodka, 1.5 ounce Cointreau, 2 ounces lemon juice, 1.5 ounces simple syrup
  • Cap shaker and shake for 20 seconds and strain the liquid equally between the martini glasses
  • Float lemon wheels in the cocktail
    2 lemon wheels
  • Sip
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Tips for making this martini:

  • Since lemon is a sour fruit, some people prefer an equal amount of simple syrup to lemon juice. I prefer a ratio that is slightly more sour than sweet – so a .75 to 1 ratio of sweet to sour. Try these proportions first and taste the result before you add more simple syrup if you ultimately want a sweeter taste.
  • The way to pick a great lemon at the market is to first heft it in your hand. The heavier lemons have more juice than the lighter ones.
  • When picking a lemon, smell it too. The more lemon fragrance, the fresher the lemon.
  • Try to gauge the thickness of the rind. The thinner the rind, the more juice it will yield.
  • Before juicing the lemon, roll it between your palm and a hard surface like a counter. Doing this will help release the juice.
  • I like having lemon wheels as garnish, but you can use a lemon twist, add some lemon zest or lemon wedges instead.
  • Some people like to rim the glasses with granulated sugar. I find that too sweet but try it both ways to see what you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 29mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin C: 11mg | Iron: 0.8mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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22 Comments

    1. Maria! Thanks you are so sweet! I love your photos! I just told my husband that I’m on a mission to make your Kale and egg naan!

  1. I like to run the lemon slice on the rim of the martini glass & dip it into fine white sugar to make it taste even more like those lemon drop candies that I loved in childhood.

    1. I love that idea Euro! My niece loves it sweeter than I do, so I’ll try that for when I make her next lemon drop! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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