Easy Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail

How to make a perfect lemon drop martini cocktail with a homemade lemon sugar rim. Jump to the Lemon Drop Martini Recipe or watch our quick video showing you how to make it.

Watch Us Make the Recipe

How to Make a Seriously Good Lemon Drop Martini

The key to the best lemon drop martini is balancing sour and sweet. This is one of our absolute favorite cocktails to make at home. Read on below to see our tips for making it.

There are four things to keep in mind when making lemon drop martinis at home.

Easy Lemon Drop Martini Recipe with Video

Use Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice. The juice from a bottle just won’t cut it here. For one cocktail, you will need 1 ounce of lemon juice or the juice from half a large lemon.

Use quality vodka. Since this is a martini, there’s quite a bit of vodka called for. You don’t need to go straight to the top shelf, but choose a vodka that’s smooth. A few of our favorites are Kettle One, Stolichnaya (Stoli), and Tito’s.

Everything should be really cold. A lukewarm martini is no fun, so be sure to shake the heck out of it — if you want to go the extra mile, chill the martini glasses, too.

Add a lemon sugar rim. You’ve probably noticed rim sugar sold at the store. They are a great idea, but honestly, much easier to make at home yourself. To make our lemon drops extra special, we add a simple lemon sugar rim to our glasses. You could certainly stick with plain sugar, but since you’ve already bought the lemons for the fresh lemon juice, you might as well whip up this zesty sugar, right? To make it, rub the zest of one lemon into granulated sugar. Easy!

How to Make Lemon Sugar

One more thing — you’ll need simple syrup for this. You can buy simple syrup at the store for convenience, but it’s really easy to make at home.

Here’s our step-by-step instructions for how to make simple sugar. We made it in our recipe video, too — it only takes a few minutes.

Easy Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail

Recipe updated, originally posted July 2010. Since posting this in 2010, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail

  • PREP

There are three things to keep in mind when making lemon drop martinis at home. Fresh lemon juice is best, use a quality vodka, and serve the martini very cold. A few of our favorite mid-priced vodka brands are Kettle One, Stolichnaya (Stoli), and Tito’s. If you plan to make the lemon sugar, it is best to remove the zest from the lemon before juicing them for the martini. Then when you need to moisten the glass so that the sugar sticks, use the leftover lemon halves after juicing.

Makes 1 drink

You Will Need

Lemon Sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Zest from 1 lemon

Lemon Drop Martini

2 ounces (1/4 cup) quality vodka, try a citron vodka

3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) Cointreau or triple sec

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh squeezed lemon juice (Juice from 1/2 large lemon)

3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) simple syrup, see our recipe for simple syrup


Lemon sugar, for glass rim


  • Make Lemon Sugar
  • Add sugar to a plate then rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until tinted yellow and fragrant.

    • Make Martini
    • Moisten the rim of a chilled martini glass with the juiced lemon, turn the glass upside down and twist into the lemon sugar, set aside.

      Add vodka, Cointreau (or triple sec), lemon juice, simple syrup and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 30 seconds or until very cold. Strain into the prepared martini glass and serve immediately.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 256 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 21 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 20 g / Total Fat 0 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

30 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Debra Gepner January 19, 2020, 5:25 pm

    Hands down this recipe is the best!

  • Kim December 19, 2019, 4:00 pm

    Fantastic fresh yummy. I used a simple syrup made with Demerara sugar rather than white sugar. Also used.vanilla vodka cuz that’s my fav!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Julia Larson November 18, 2019, 9:17 pm

    For fun I add a lemon drop candy

  • Jennifer October 8, 2019, 5:10 pm

    This recipe saved us so much money since we now can make a simple and perfect lemondrop martini at home! Thanks so much 🙂

  • Nancy October 7, 2019, 7:49 pm

    I found this recipe to be too sweet. Too much sugar! Triple Sec AND simple syrup?😲However, I like other aspects of it. Leaves a nice taste in my mouth after I get over the sugar hit! I’m going to tweak it accordingly.

  • Dawn Hardwick September 27, 2019, 8:04 pm

    Lemondrop Martinis just happen to be my favorite drink. So much so, that I have name my Weimeraner pup Lemondrop. I have been searching far and wide for the perfect recipe for this drink. I HAVE FINALLY FOUND IT. Absolutely perfect right down to the lemon zest. You have ended my search. This truly is the perfect Lemondrop Martini. Thank you for forever…

  • BETTY June 15, 2019, 7:33 pm

    I would like to make these for a party – is there any way they could be made in pitcher form? Or if I want to make 3 at a time should I just multiply the listed ingredients? Thanks for any advice. Betty

    • Adam April 1, 2020, 12:19 pm

      Hi Betty, You can make a large batch and then serve cold. Just multiply the ingredients for however many drinks you plan to serve.

  • Bethany M Gormley June 3, 2019, 8:55 pm

    This Lemon Drop martini recipe is perfect!! My husband and I make it once a week for our date night and now we’ve made it so much we have it memorized. Thank you for creating such a wonderful recipe!! It’s amazing!!

  • LISA S LINDER May 29, 2019, 9:12 pm

    Absolutely perfect. I used 2.5 oz of Belvedere Vodka.

  • Brett Joeckel April 8, 2019, 4:58 am

    Thanks for this helpful information.

  • Terrie Wilborn January 12, 2019, 9:11 pm

    My dear aunt had a made up word that is appropriate for this drink “desluptious”. Love this drink.

  • Cheryl December 16, 2018, 10:17 pm

    I have fallen in love with this recipe!!! The lemon zest with the sugar, great touch! Used Tito’s vodka. Not too sweet, great balance. My new go to drink and will share it with company.


Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: