What is a Lemon Drop Martini?

A pitcher of lemon-drop martinis.
Vodka, one of the ingredients in a lemon drop martini.
Tart lime juice can be added to a lemon drop martini for a more intense citrus flavor.
A lemon drop martini is very sweet and slightly sour.
Lemon juice is used to make lemon drop martinis.
A jigger is used to measure alcohol to make a lemon drop martini.
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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2015
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A lemon drop martini is an alcoholic beverage usually made primarily from vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, and sugar. This beverage is very sweet yet slightly sour, and generally does not have a strong taste of liquor. The recipe originated in California during the 1970s, and is still a very popular drink in the western part of the United States.

This cocktail was first served at a single's bar called Henry Africa's. During the 1970s, the establishment was located in San Francisco. This bar was famous, in its day, for serving very sweet alcoholic beverages in order to attract female customers. Although the club is no longer open, patrons who sampled this martini during the club's heyday helped to tell others about the concoction, causing it to remain a popular drink in the region, even after the tavern's demise.

A basic lemon drop martini recipe typically uses 1 and 1/2 cups (.35 l) of vodka, along with 1/2 cup (.12 l) of triple sec. Most bartenders recommend using a good-quality vodka rather than a generic or unknown brand. Any type of orange liquor may be substituted for the triple sec, so this ingredient is mainly a matter of personal preference.


Granulated sugar is not recommended for making a lemon drop martini. Most recipes for this cocktail ask for a super-fine, or confectioner's, sugar, which is dissolves almost instantly in liquids. This is used not only in the drink itself, but is placed on the rim of the martini glass to give the drink a little extra sweetness. If preferred, a simple syrup made from boiling water and granulated sugar can be made to use in making the martini.

Freshly-squeezed lemon juice is commonly used in making this cocktail. If fresh lemons are not available, it can usually be made with bottled lemon juice. Lemon peel or a slice of lemon can also be added to the finished drink, for garnish, if desired. A lemon drop martini may look like lemonade, and will likely have a fresh, lemony smell to it as well.

This alcoholic drink can have a high concentration of alcohol due to the fact that it is normally made with two different types of liquor. The cocktail's naturally sweet taste can sometimes cause drinkers to consume these beverages faster than normal. For this reason, some people may also be inclined to have more drinks than they are normally accustomed to. To insure public safety and obey laws regarding driving while intoxicated, a designated driver should be appointed whenever someone over-indulges in these martinis.


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Post 3

A friend of mine recently served me a raspberry lemon drop martini. He is always tinkering with new drink recipes and he insisted that this was one of the best that he had tried in months.

He was right. The lemon and the raspberry go great together without being overpowering. You might be expecting the drink to be as syrupy sweet as a daiquiri but it was not at all. I think James Bond would even drink one.

Post 2

What ingredients do I need to make lemon drop vodka martinis? I have the vodka but that is it.

Also, how do you guys feel about serving martinis not in a martini glass? I know that some people find this completely unacceptable but I think this is just useless snobbery. The drink tastes the same even if you put it in a little Dixie cup.

Post 1
It used to be that you could not get a martini with anything except vodka or gin, vermouth and olives. They were good but pretty boring. I know that a lot of people have criticized the boom in flavored martinis over the last few years as just a silly by product of a Sex and the City culture but I think they are really interesting and refreshing.

My favorite is definitely the lemon drop martinis. I love the flavor of lemon but so many cocktails use it in an intrusive or unappetizing way. The lemon drop martini is more subtle. It utilizes the lemon without sacrificing the class and sophistication of the traditional martini.

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