A delicious lemon sugar rim sweetens the tartness of our lemon drop martini that is bursting with the most intense lemon flavor. The first time we tried this cocktail was sitting on a balcony in Sorrento on the Amalfi coast. We were looking out to the island of Capri and we wanted to try a cocktail that encapsulated the area, and its amazing Sorrento lemons, the waiter suggested a Limoncello martini, we tried it and knew that we had to recreate it when we got back home.
Why you’ll love this lemon drop martini recipe
- If you like lemons then you will LOVE this martini, it’s like a liquid lemon drop!
- It’s easy to make in just 5 minutes!
- It’s stylish, elegant, and deserves a place at any summer party or Christmas celebration.
- It’s 100% vegetarian.
This cocktail has got everything just right, perfectly balanced, we are confident to call this the best lemon drop martini ever!
What goes in a lemon drop martini?
In our lemon drop martini recipe, we use limoncello, vodka, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice.
Try to use the best vodka that you can afford, ideally you want a good quality smooth vodka.
You’ll find that some recipes modify lemon drops and add triple sec or orange liqueur as well, but we prefer ours without, as triple sec adds an orange flavor.
What is limoncello?
If you don’t know what limoncello is, then you are in for a real treat!
Limoncello is an Italian liqueur that is mainly produced in the south of Italy, on the Amalfi coast, and in particular around Sorrento.
Sorrento is a beautiful place and is known for its wonderful Sorrento lemons.
Limoncello is made from the zest of these lemons.
We bought back a bottle of limoncello and stored it in the freezer, it’s wonderful when it’s sipped icy cold.
If you haven’t tried it, then trust us, you must and you can also make our limoncello spritz with it!
Do I have to use fresh lemon juice?
Yes, you do.
The whole flavors of our lemon drop martini recipe revolve around the zingy freshness of the lemons.
From using limoncello, including lemon zest on the sugar rim to the fresh lemon juice.
Store-bought bottled lemon juice just won’t cut it, you’ll never get the freshness you get when you juice a lemon yourself.
You’ll also need to garnish your martini with a lemon slice or a lemon twist.
And don’t forget that wonderful smell, the smell of fresh lemons will fill your room.
Trust us on this one.
What equipment will I need to make it?
The great thing about this lemon drop martini cocktail is that you don’t need lots and lots of equipment.
You’ll need a martini glass, a cocktail shaker, and a Hawthorne strainer.
If you don’t have all of this, then look at our tips section below and you’ll see some great workarounds.
What’s the best glass to use?
Naturally, the best glass to drink a lemon drop martini from will be a martini glass.
But not everyone has martini glasses at home, so feel free to improvise.
The most important thing is to enjoy the drink – right?
Substitute martini glasses for a wide-rimmed glass such as a coupe glass or even a margarita glass.
Can I make these ahead?
Yes, you can, this is the best lemon drop martini for a party cocktail!
Follow the instructions and mix the martini and store your cocktail in the fridge, so it’s chilling but don’t leave the ice in with the drink, or it’ll dilute it.
Don’t make the sugared rim in advance as they have a tendency to crust on the rim and go hard.
Tips for making the best lemon drop martini
- Making ahead for a party?
Mix your cocktails, remove the ice and store them in the fridge until you need them – don’t make the sugar rims or they will become crusty and solid.
- Can’t get hold of limoncello?
Use citron vodka instead.
- Use fresh lemons
You need the fresh lemon flavor to pop out and bottled juice won’t cut it.
- Don’t have a cocktail shaker?
Use a mason jar, it’s not ideal but it’ll mean you can still make this lemon drop recipe!
- Missing a Hawthorne strainer?
Don’t worry, use a tea strainer instead.
- Out of superfine sugar?
Grind granulated sugar with a mortar and pestle.
- Missing simple syrup?
Make your own simple syrup with our easy recipe – coming soon.
- Want it even more lemony?
Add more lemon juice!
How to make a lemon drop martini with step-by-step instructions
Making our lemon drop martini recipe is easy if you follow our simple instructions.
The full printable recipe instructions along with all the measurements are available in the recipe card below.
For the lemon sugar rim
First, place the superfine sugar on a flat plate or surface, then zest your lemon over the superfine sugar.
Gently wipe a fresh lemon wedge around the rim of your glass and then turn your martini glass upside down and twist it gently on the lemon sugar until you have an even coating around your rim.
For the lemon drop martini
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add limoncello, add vodka, simple syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Firmly secure the lid on your cocktail shaker and then shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
Now, using your Hawthorne strainer, carefully stain your limoncello martini into your prepared glass.
Add a lemon slice or lemon twist garnish.
Bellissimo – sunshine in a cocktail glass – enjoy!
We hope you enjoy making our lemon drop martini recipe and would love to hear how you got on with making it.
Please leave a comment below or feel free to ask any questions you have.
More martini recipes for you to try
- Pornstar martini – don’t be fooled by the name encapsulating sophistication, this passion fruit cocktail is one you must try!
- Strawberry martini – fresh strawberry puree makes this twist on a classic full of fruity flavor!
- Espresso martini – smooth as silk, you don’t need to like coffee to love this delicious cocktail!
LEMON DROP MARTINI (LIMONCELLO MARTINI)
- Cocktail shaker
- Hawthorne strainer
For the rim
- 2 tbsp Caster sugar (superfine)
- Lemon zest
For the cocktail
- Ice cubes
- 25 ml Limoncello
- 25 ml Vodka
- 25 ml Simple syrup
- 25 ml Lemon juice
- Lemon slice to garnish
For the rim
- First, place the sugar on a flat plate or surface, then zest your lemon over the sugar. Gently wipe a fresh lemon wedge around the rim of your glass and then turn it upside down and twist it gently on the lemon sugar until you have an even coating around your rim.2 tbsp Caster sugar (superfine), Lemon
For the cocktail
- Add ice cubes to your cocktail shaker, then add limoncello, vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Firmly secure the lid on your cocktail shaker and then shake vigorously for 20 seconds.Ice cubes, 25 ml Limoncello, 25 ml Vodka, 25 ml Simple syrup, 25 ml Lemon juice
- Now, using your Hawthorne strainer, carefully pour your limoncello martini into your glass. Garnish with a lemon sliceLemon slice
- Bellissimo – sunshine in a cocktail glass – enjoy!