The Lemon Drop Martini is an extremely well-established classic. It’s sweet enough to disguise the alcohol flavor, so it’s popular with occasional and social drinkers. It actually tastes very much like the candy for which it was named.
Lemon Drop Martinis are great for drinking on a night out dancing. They’re sophisticated, but you don’t need to acquire a taste for them because they’re just delicious. They make a great change from the Cosmopolitan, which has overtaken the Lemon Drop in popularity in recent years.
There’s no sour mix in this recipe. It’s just vodka, orange liqueur and lemon juice with sugar. Unlike the light and refreshing Limoncello Collins, which is mellowed by chilled club soda, this drink is intensely citrus.
The recipe calls for superfine sugar, and that’s exactly what you should mix into the drink. But for the rim, I chose a coarser sugar – plain table sugar, actually. But you can also buy rimming sugars designed for lemon drop martinis, which actually add some lemon flavor of their own.
This is an easy enough drink to pair with foods. Try this 20 Minute Lemon, Garlic, and Herb Baked Cod from Baker by Nature. The lemon flavors compliment one another, while garlic and herbs like parsley and basil mellow the sweetness of the cocktail.
You can also enjoy this one as a dessert drink. It satisfies the sweet tooth with nowhere near as much sugar as the average restaurant dessert.
Lemon Drop Martini Recipe
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon superfine (or caster) sugar
- Optional: coarser sugar for rim
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Pour in all the ingredients. Shake only until the sugar is dissolved (so as to avoid bruising the alcohol). Strain the mixture into a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a lemon slice or twist.
Originally published April 9, 2011