how to make a lemon drop martini

Lemon Drop Martini is a lemon flavored sweet and sour drink. It can be a little tart as well depending on the taste of the lemon juice used.

It was named after the candy of the same name and is said to have been developed sometime in the 1970s at Henry’s Africa bar in San Francisco. However the drink did not get popular until the 80s.

There are several variations of the lemon drop martini that has developed over the years, so find the one that suits you the best.


  • 3 parts Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1/2 Part Orange Liqueur (optional)
  • 1 table-spoon of Sugar or Sugar syrup
  • Fine Sugar for the Rim
  • Lemon Peel or slice for garnish


  1. Add ice cubes to a martini shaker
  2. Add 3 shots of Grey Goose Vodka into the shaker
  3. Add 1 shot of fresh lemon juice into the shaker
  4. Add 1/2 shot of the Orange Liqueur into the shaker
  5. Add a tablespoon of sugar or 1/2 shot of sugar syrup into the shaker
  6. Shake well to mix the ingredients
  7. Pour into a chilled martini glass rimmed with sugar
  8. Garnish with Lemon peels or slices

Sugar Rimmed Martini Glass

  1. Chill a martini glass in the freezer or with ice cubes
  2. Pour some fine-grained sugar into a dish, that is wide enough to dip the glass.
  3. Cut a lemon slice and moist the rim of the chilled martini glass
  4. Dip the moist edge into the sugar till the sugar sticks to the rim.
Lemon Drop Martini

Variations and Similar Drinks

Some variations of Lemon Drop Martini use lemon flavored Vodka instead of Vodka. This could be something like Grey Goose Le Citron or Absolut Citron.

Sidecar: Sidecar is a variation of this where Brandy or Cognac can be used instead of the Vodka


  • You can use simple syrup instead of adding sugar to the shaker. This makes dissolving much easier.
  • Increase the sugar to decrease the tartness of the lemon and make the drink sweeter.
  • If adding sugar instead of the simple syrup, then use superfine white sugar which dissolves faster.
  • If the sugar is not dissolved well, you might have to strain it into the glass to avoid cloudiness.┬áThe cloudiness will disappear once the drink is allowed to sit for a couple of minutes when the sugar settles.
  • Use of orange liqueur is optional, but works to bring out the lemon flavor and cut the tartness. You could use either Cointreau or Triple Sec.