Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini

Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini is ideal to enjoy with friends over barbecue on summer days. Lemon drop maybe easy, but yet it requires just the perfect balance of sweet and tart. This lemon drop martini with limoncello has the perfect balance for the perfect lemon drop you have been craving.

As a matter of fact, this cocktail is a favorite. Moreover, it has a name that people recognize and used to be known for shots. Now, it has turned into a martini. However, this is not your ordinary martini. It’s martini with a twist where a little Italian flair has been added.

Though this cocktail tends to skew a little bit more towards the female demographic, that doesn’t mean that a male wouldn’t enjoy the nice lemon citrus and herbal flavors.

Lemon Drop Martini

A lemon drop martini is an alcoholic drink usually made mainly of vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and sugar. Actually, this drink is very sweet and slightly acidic and usually does not have a strong liquor flavor. The recipe originated in California during the 1970s and is still a popular drink in the western part of the United States.

This cocktail was first served at the bar of a single named Henry Africa. During the 1970s, his establishment is located in San Francisco. This bar became famous, in its day, to serve very sweet alcoholic drinks in order to attract female customers. Although the club is no longer open, customers who tried this martini helped to talk to others about the mix. As a result, lemon drop martini became a popular drink in the region even after the tavern’s demise.

Limoncello lemon drop martini lemon twist (1)

Conventional Recipe

Basically, A simple lemon drop martini recipe usually uses 1 and 1/2 cups (0.35 l) of vodka, along with 1/2 cup (0.12 l) of triple sec. However, most waiters recommend the use of a good quality vodka instead of a generic or unknown brand. Additionally, any type of orange liqueur can be substituted for the triple sec. This ingredient is primarily a matter of personal preference as well.

Granulated sugar is not recommended to make a lemon drop martini. This is due to the fact that most recipes for this cocktail call for either a super-fine or icing sugar, which dissolves almost instantly in liquids. However, this is used not only in the drink itself but is also placed on the rim of the martini glass for decoration and added sweetness. Likewise, a simple syrup made from boiling water and granulated sugar can be made to use in making the martini if preferred.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is commonly used in the making of this cocktail. Bottled lemon juice is an alternative if the fresh lemon juice is not available. Lemon peel or a slice of lemon can be used to garnish the drink.

Tips for Making a Great Lemon Drop Martini

Simple drinks like these deserve (and almost require) the best ingredients if you want to make the best possible cocktail.

Start with a soft vodka, because it is the foundation. There are many good premium vodkas that you can select from. However, if your budget is a bit short, you may also find good options from low-priced vodkas.

The syrup and lemon juice should be fresh in order to produce the best lemon drop. Homemade syrup or lemon juice is not difficult to make and what’s good about the two being separate is that you can customize the sweet and sour to your own liking. If you find a perfect balance, you can combine the two for a perfect lemon drop anytime.

This recipe is the perfect basis for experimentation and it is very easy to add a little taste. The easiest way is to use a flavored vodka or to prepare your own flavored syrup. Citrus fruits and other fruit vodkas are also a well-known choice as well as flower syrups like lavender and lilac can add a very interesting twist.


The Lemon Drop Martini is one of the vodka martinis that has become a hit. It is also the inspiration for a number of ready-to-drink variations.

Another simple variant of the original recipe is to add 1/4 oz Cointreau and use only 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup.

Additionally, the cocktail can be turned into a frozen ice pop.

Moreover, icing sugar can also be added to take the bitterness down.

Furthermore, adding limoncello to the lemon drop replaces the sugar and orange liqueur for a lemony and sweeter variety.

limoncello lemon drop cocktail body

Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini

Get ready for this simple vodka cocktail that makes a great dessert drink, deliciously refreshing and can take on other flavors.

Limoncello is the perfect ingredient in the cocktail for its bright, citrus flavor. This will definitely kick up the lemon drop since Limoncello is not that sour.

This tastes like an alcoholic version of lemon candies.

Perfect balance of sweet and tart, the drink is a citrus explosion in your mouth. This cocktail will definitely remind you of summertime and springtime.

Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini

This limoncello lemon drop martini has the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The combination of ingredients is a perfect refreshing fusion ideal for warm summer days. 

Recipe Type Drinks
Course Italian
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 240 kcal
Author Ventura Limoncello


  • 4 shots Vodka
  • 2 shots limoncello
  • 1 shot triple sec
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 lemon for garnish
  • 1 tbsp sugar for garnish
  • mint leaves for garnish


  1. Juice half of a lemon on a plate and put a tablespoon of sugar on another plate. 

  2. Dip the rim of martini glasses in lemon juice. Then dip the glasses in sugar. Set aside.

  3. Combine limoncello, sugar, vodka, triple sec, lemon sugar, and ice in a large cocktail shaker.

  4. Give a short, vigorous shake to allow all ingredients to incorporate.

  5. Pour the mixture into prepared martini glasses.

  6. Garnish with a slice of lemon and mint leaf.

Nutrition Facts
Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini
Amount Per Serving
Calories 240
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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