Lemon Drop Martinis are one of my favorite drinks. I really love the taste: fresh and tart but with a hit of sweet. And that’s just how I would describe the cocktail.
Whenever the husband and I have a date night, which is happening more now that we have a teenager, we usually go to our favorite sushi restaurant. The owner makes a perfect lemon drop.
I like to make cocktails at home because it’s so much more economical than going out. These days in coastal Maine, a lemon drop martini at a restaurant or bar is at least $10. If you’re in a city, they probably cost more. I can make a lot of martinis at home for the price of four martinis at a bar.
After much experimenting and drinking of lemon drops, I think I’ve nailed the sushi restaurant owner’s version.
How to Make a Lemon Drop Martini
- Combine two ounces each of lemon vodka and limoncello with two to four ounces of lemonade in a cocktail shaker or mason jar.
- Put in a handful of ice cubes and and shake until the shaker is freezing cold.
- Pour a few tablespoons of white sugar on a small plate.
- Run a lemon wedge along the rim of a martini glass.
- Roll the rim of the glass in the sugar. Pour into a martini glass and serve.
This is a great drink to enjoy after long day at work or after an afternoon of weeding and planting in the garden. Serve with a little bowl of nuts or olives. Of course, cheese and crackers or biscuits would go well too.
If you’re living in Europe or an urban part of the U.S. maybe you have access to multiple brands of limoncello. I have just two limoncello brands on my local liquor shelves: Caravella and Pallini.
Pallini is a brand I really like it and it happens to the brand that my Japanese bartender uses.
I’ve tried making my own limoncello and didn’t love how it turned out. I used vodka, which I think might have been the issue. I’ve done some reading, which says Everclear is the best base for lemon liquor.
I’ve been using prepared lemonade but lemon drop martinis would be even better with homemade lemonade.
The lemon drop is a popular drink. History says it was invented by a San Francisco bar owner in the 1970’s. There are lots of different recipes. Some call for lemon juice, others lime juice and triple sec. I really love limoncello so that’s what I use.
If you’re out of vodka, pour an ounce of limoncello in a tall glass full of ice and top with seltzer water.
Your turn: what’s your favorite cocktail recipe? Share it in the comment section below.
3-Ingredient Lemon Drop Martini Recipe
- 2 ounces citrus vodka
- 2 ounces limoncello
- 2 to 4 ounces lemonade (homemade or your favorite brand
- Sugar for rim of glass
- Lemon for garnish
- jigger to measure liquor
- Cocktail shaker or mason jar with tight-fitting lid
- martini glasses
Rub a slice of lemon around edge of glass.
Dip rim of glass in white sugar and set aside.
Pour lemonade, vodka and limoncello in a shaker or mason jar and shake well.
Pour into a glass over ice.
Garnish with a wedge of lemon, if you like.
History of Limoncello