Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

by | Apr 22, 2019 | All, Vodka

This post was originally published on 4/22/19 and updated with new content on 1/29/20 

Look like a master bartender with this Lemon Drop Martini recipe! The easy vodka cocktail is the perfect balance of sweet and sour. 

Lemon Drop Martini recipe in a low martini glass with a sugared rim and garnished with a fresh lemon wheel.

Bright and refreshing, this Lemon Drop Martini recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and sour!  This easy vodka cocktail will make you look like a master bartender and is the special (but EASY) touch your next happy hour needs.

Have you ever had a fabulous cocktail out at a restaurant, tried to recreate it and ended up disappointed?
Learn how to make a bar-worthy Lemon Drop Martini at home  that will have all of your friends begging for the recipe.
After all, parties are always more fun when they include a signature cocktail, and this Lemon Drop Martini recipe is a tasty place to start!
Perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, this lemon martini is an easy happy hour sipper that your friends will fall in love with.

Single lemon drop martini is a short martini glass rimmed in sugar.

What is the best vodka for a Lemon Drop Martini?

Cocktails are only going to be as good as the individual ingredients. That’s why we start with high-quality vodka.
And for this martini, make sure it’s a citrus flavor. I tried it with plain vodka and it’s good, but the citrus vodka makes it fabulous. 
Citrus vodka is easy to find. I used Absolut Citron, but Belvedere, Grey Goose, and Stolichnaya also make citrus vodka.

Does fresh citrus juice make a difference in drinks?

YES! And for this cocktail, please only use fresh lemon juice. Leave the stuff in the bottle for another time.

This reamer is one of my favorite kitchen tools!  It takes minimal effort to squeeze the lemon but the taste differential is monumental. 


What goes in a Lemon Drop Martini?

  • Superfine Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Citrus Vodka
  • Simple Syrup
  • Triple Sec

What is superfine sugar?

Many cocktail recipes call for superfine sugar. Every well-stocked bar/kitchen should have some on hand because it does make a difference in your drinks.
Superfine sugar is simply granulated sugar that is a finer grain allowing it to dissolve faster. It sweetens without the grainy residue that regular sugar can leave behind.

lemon drop martini in a short martini glass a sugar rim and lemon twists for garnish.

Where can I find superfine sugar?

It’s also called Caster Sugar, Baker’s Sugar, white cane super quick dissolve sugar or just Superfine Sugar.
It’s easy to find. You can order superfine sugar online or find it in the baking aisle of any grocery store.
If you don’t have any on hand, it’s easy to make your own.
Simply put a cup of granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Store in an airtight container for another use.

How to rim a glass with sugar

It’s easy peasy and absolutely essential for this martini recipe. The little touches like this sugared rim are what make fun cocktails even more special.

Follow these simple steps to rim the martini glass with sugar.
Step 1: Pour superfine sugar on to a small plate.
Step 2: Cut a lemon into wedges and run a wedge around the rim of the martini glass to moisten the edge.
Step 3: Invert the rim into the superfine sugar until evenly coated.
Step 4: Turn the glass over and set aside until ready to use.
The 30 seconds it takes to rim the glass with a lemon wedge and dip it in sugar is the difference between a good cocktail and one that your friends will be talking about.

Lemon drop martinis in glasses with lemon rinds for garnish.

What is simple syrup and how do I make it?

Simple syrup is a sweetener made from dissolving sugar and water together. It’s super easy to make at home.
Step 1:Take equal parts sugar and water and add to a small saucepan
Step 2: Heat over medium heat until it boils.
Step 3: Boil for 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
Step 4: Let syrup cool and pour into an airtight container.
(I love to use mason jars)

Boom. Done.

The best news? You can make this a couple of days ahead of time so there is less work the day of your party, Simple syrup keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, which is great since so many cocktails call for it.

FYI, you can also buy simple syrup at the liquor store. Look for it in the aisle with all of the mixers. No judgment here either way. I’ve used store-bought plenty of times, but once you find how easy it is to make, you might change your mind.

What is Triple Sec?

Triple sec is a clear, slightly sweet orange liqueur that is commonly used in cocktails. Other Orange Liqueurs are Cointreau and Grand Marnier.
You can easily find Triple Sec in the liqueur aisle where alcohol is sold.

Lemon Drop Martini recipe in a low martini glass with a sugared rim and half of a lemon wedge for a garnish.

When do I shake or stir a cocktail?

Here’s an easy way to remember: Shake Citrus, Stir Alcohol.
Drinks that have citrus juice in them need to be shaken, not stirred and here’s why:
1. Shaking a cocktail with citrus breaks down the citrus juice and makes the cocktail light and refreshing instead of acrid and acidic. 
2. Citrus juice and alcohol have different densities and won’t mix easily unless they are shaken together.
However, if a drink is all liquor, like a tequila old fashioned, manhattan cocktail or negroni, stirring is the way to go.

Can I make this lemon drop martini recipe into a batch cocktail?

Make-ahead cocktails are music to my ears! I hate to miss out on time with my friends while I am working in the kitchen. 

Follow these simple steps to make this martini recipe into a batch cocktail!

  1. Simply multiply the quantities by the desired number of cocktails.
  2. Put them in a huge shaker or mason jar WITHOUT ice. (otherwise you end up with a watered down drink and no one wants that.)
  3. Shake it well
  4. Keep refrigerated until serving.
  5. Shake again before serving
Pro tip: I like to shake over ice before serving. Lemon drop martinis are best served ICE cold!
Don’t forget the sugared rims!

DIY Lemon Drop Sour Mix

If you don’t want to make the whole cocktail ahead of time you can make the mix. To do this simply mix together the lemon juice and the simple syrup (2:1 ratio)  and you will have a Fresh Lemon Sour Mix.
Fresh Lemon Sour Mix
(enough for 8 lemon drops)
12 ounces fresh lemon juice
6 ounces simple syrup
Shake together and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Pro Tip: If you want to keep the lemon sour mix longer you can freeze it into ice cubes and always have it ready to go!

Make your Lemon Drop Martini a Mocktail

Mocktails are always a great option to offer at parties.  Not everyone chooses to drink alcohol but that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the fun cocktails.
You can still enjoy the flavor of a delicious lemon drop martini. Simply omit the alcohol and use club soda in its place. Serve it with a sugared rim and no one will know the difference!

Lemon Drop Martini recipe in two low martini glasses with sugared rims and fresh lemon wheels for garnish on a dark background

So what are you waiting for?

Plan your next happy hour, and add this Lemon Drop Martini to your menu.

Just be warned. Once your friends sip on this fun cocktail, no other lemon drop martini will compare so be prepared to make them all the time. 

The good news? They are super easy and so delicious that they are worth every second it takes to make them. 

What other vodka cocktails can I make with simple syrup?

Now that you have a batch of simple syrup on hand, check out these other vodka cocktails that you can make!

Pinterest image of Lemon Drop martini recipe in a single glass with lemon wedges for garnish.

Happy Hours are always better when fun cocktails are a part of the menu.

You can’t host a happy hour without snacks! Check out our favorite easy, make-ahead appetizer recipes that pair perfectly with cocktails!

Love easy vodka drinks but want to try something new? Try Elderflower Liqueur or use Sparkling Wine to make Prosecco Cocktails
Check out all of our cocktail recipes to find some new favorites!
Yield: 2 cocktails

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

Lemon Drop Martini recipe in a low martini glass with a sugared rim and half of a lemon wedge for a garnish.

Easy and delicious, this Lemon Drop Martini recipe will make you look like a master bartender.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes



  1. Place super fine sugar on a small plate.
  2. Run a lemon wedge around the edge of the martini glasses and invert glass in the superfine sugar to coat the rim.
  3. Fill a shaker with ice and add vodka, Triple Sec, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake well.
  4. Strain into glasses and serve immediately.


Use these measurements to make 8 Lemon Drop Martinis:

  • 16 ounces citrus vodka

  • 8 ounces triple sec

  • 6 ounces simple syrup

  • 12 ounces fresh lemon juice

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

5.5 ounces

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 124gFiber: 1gSugar: 119gProtein: 1g

LOVE this recipe?

Follow us on Pinterest for more great recipes! Just click the little pin button at the top of the recipe card.

Simple and refreshing this 4 ingredient Lemon Drop Martini recipe will quickly become your go-to happy hour cocktail!

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

Our Story

About Lisa

Hi, I’m Lisa! Looking for the party? It’s probably at my house. Nothing brings me more joy than sharing good food with friends and family. That and a seriously good cocktail.


  1. Avatar

    I very much appreciated your breakdown of the ingredients. I did have to search up Triple Sec, but everything else was easy to read about here and locate in the store while shopping! I’ll have to pass this on!

    • Avatar

      Hi Ashley, SO glad you found it helpful! Let us know how you like the lemon drop. It’s one of my favorites!

  2. Avatar

    Love the recipe!! My favorite for a Lemon Drop. I’m using Kettle One citrus vodka, Dekuyper Triple Sec and premade simple syrup. But always fresh Lemon juice!

    • Avatar

      So happy you like it! You can never go wrong with a really good Lemon Drop!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *