The Best Lemon Drop Martini You’ll Ever Have is the one you’ll make with the recipe below. You’ll make it over and over and over, again. They’re THAT good.
This was originally published April 12, 2013.
There’s little story behind these Lemon Drop Martinis.
When it comes to gift giving, I usually prefer to give, than to receive.
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I’m not being dishonest or altruistic, it’s just that I usually put a lot of thought into the gift I give. I get so much out of seeing the joy on the recipient’s face when they see the present they’ve been given. However, there have been several times when I have received such a gift myself, and I have been just as elated!
One of these memorable gifts was given to me by two of my friends, Vicki and Kelly (sisters), who came to a surprise party that my husband threw for me when I became a US citizen, several years ago.
A few weeks prior, I had gone to my friend Vicki’s house after our sons’ baseball game, and she asked what I would like to drink. I agreed to a glass of wine, but another friend chose a lemon drop martini. Vicki made it using freshly picked lemons off her tree outside, and insisted I try a sip. All I can say is that I was so disappointed that I’d chosen to have wine! It was one of the best cocktails I’d ever tasted.
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It was perfectly “lemon-y” without being too sour, and the alcohol was almost indistinguishable. The sugar-rimmed glass was the crowning glory. I could totally understand why it was called a “Lemon Drop” martini because it actually gave the sensation of, and tasted like a lemon drop candy. Vicki ended up making me my own cocktail that night. So that was it: I was hooked.
Vicki realized how much I loved the lemon drop martini, and must have suggested to her sister that they use it as a theme for my present. It was a lovely basket containing two elegant martini glasses, fresh lemons, a little bag of Baker’s Sugar (caster sugar in the UK) a bottle of Ketel One Citroen Vodka and this recipe card.
I still remember the colors of yellow and pink in the basket, standing out against the rest of the basket’s contents. It wasn’t opened for days as I just wanted to gaze at it.
I eventually did open it (I didn’t want the lemons to rot in that gorgeous basket). Although the bottle of vodka, sugar and lemons are long gone, I still have the glasses, recipe card, and most importantly, the memory of such a beautiful gift, lovingly prepared with so much thoughtfulness.
However, this was just the start of many more memories to come from that glorious gift.
The Ripple Effect
There were lemon drop martinis at Angela’s 1940s themed 40th Birthday Party, and as you can see, they were a huge hit!
My husband (on the computer screen) and my cousin with her husband of only one day, drinking Lemon Drop Martinis using the same lemons, Ketel One vodka, and same glasses. This took place on Skype between London and Los Angeles.
Barbecues with family in England, and Lemon Drop Martinis.
And many other “no reason for a Lemon Drop, but we’re having one anyway” occasions!
Thanks for the memories, Vicki and Kelly!
The Lemon Drop Recipe
Lemon drop martinis are now my signature cocktail, and I must say, they are absolutely top-notch when made with freshly picked Meyer lemons. I’ve tried other vodkas and spirits, but in this drink, nothing compares to Ketel One Citroen Vodka, so try to stay true to this recipe for the best results. You can put less sugar if you prefer; in fact, my cousin likes his with no sugar whatsoever! It’s much too sour for me this way, but he loves them. It’s important to use the fine Baker’s (caster) sugar because granulated sugar won’t melt completely.
You can also make virgin LDMs by omitting the vodka and using water instead, so it’s basically lemonade in a sugar-rimmed glass. However, children may have a kiddie version, and those not wanting to partake in drinking alcohol (e.g. designated drivers)* can also enjoy the “lemon-drop” experience.
NOTE: I’ve since made a frosty version of this cocktail, too! You can find it here.
The Best Lemon Drop Martini You’ll Ever Have…
makes one martini author unknown
One martini glass.
Rub the edge of a martini glass with half a lemon.
Then dip the rim of the glass in baker’s sugar in a plate to rim the glass.
Shake all ingredients together with ice in a martini shaker approximately 50 times.
Pour into sugar rimmed glass and enjoy!
You may also enjoy this version.
*Please don’t drink and drive! My neighbor’s nanny just lost her son (who was a husband, and father of two) to a drunk driver.
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The Best Lemon Drop Martini You'll Ever Have...
A brilliant alcoholic version of a lemon drop candy!
- 2 shots (3 oz) Ketel One Citroen Vodka
- juice of 1/2 large lemon (fresh Meyer lemons are best) approximately 2 oz of juice
- 2 teaspoons baker’s (extra-fine) sugar
- (extra sugar for rimming glass)
- Rub the edge of a martini glass with half a lemon.
- Then dip the rim of the glass in baker’s sugar in a plate to rim the glass.
- Shake all ingredients together with ice in a martini shaker approximately 50 times.
- Pour into sugar rimmed glass and enjoy!
Do use Ketel One Citroen Vodka for the best results. I've tried other vodkas and this is the best for this recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 241Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 163mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 0gSugar: 32gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
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When in Italy last year I bought a bottle of Lemoncello but haven’t found a good way to use it other than sip it over ice. Do you have any suggestions?
I do, Judy! Here is a Limoncello cheesecake and a limoncello tiramisu recipe that I desperately need to update! Hope you like one or both! CC
I was lucky enough to find Meyer lemons and Ketel Citroen Vodka. This is one delicious Martini, be careful folks..these could be addicting. Thanks for the recipe Christina.
Awesome, Linda! Those are the best and I agree, they probably should come with a warning! :) You’re very welcome!
[…] started with this recipe, but it was just a little strong for us (and maybe a tad too sour for my personal taste) so […]
[…] The Best Lemon Drop Martini You’ll Ever Have… […]
I’d like to make a pitcher of the Lemon Drop Martinis… Do you have the appropriate measurements for this? I’d like it to serve about 5 people at a time! Thank You!
Hi Kim, sorry for the delayed response, but I’ve been traveling in Europe. The recipe makes ONE martini so just multiply by FIVE. CC
Approximately how much lemon juice should I expect to get out of a Meyers lemon half? In relation to the 2 oz of vodka, for instance, will it be 1 oz if lemon juice? More? Less?
Hi Pam, I just juiced a Meyer lemon to check for you. It was a larger sized lemon, weighed 9 oz and it gave me 4 ounces of juice (liquid measure). I eyeball it and know if it’s a really small lemon I use the whole thing. I’ve updated the ingredients to make it easier.
Btw, 2 shots of vodka = 3 oz, not 2 oz. Let me know how you like the cocktail! :)
I have been looking for a recipe for a lemon drop martini , excited to try- I think for the rim I’ll try to mix some lemon Meyer rinds with fine sugar.
You’re going to LOVE this version, Rosie! Never had one at a bar or restaurant that tastes as good! The Meyer lemon rinds with sugar will be great! Let me know what you think! CC