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Lemon Drop Martini

The lemon drop martini is the perfect example of what happens when you infuse a cocktail with a little sunshine.

It’s a refreshing concoction made with vodka, lemons, sugar, Cointreau, and simple syrup.

Lemon Drop Martini in a Cocktail Glass
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It features the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors. This drink also has an elegant appearance.

It’s an excellent all-occasion cocktail, too. It’s perfect as a palate cleanser and makes an ideal summer treat.

Once you try it, it’ll quickly become your new favorite!

Lemon Drop Martini 

If there’s one thing I love in a mixed drink, it’s balance. And the lemon drop martini has it in spades. Nothing about it is too overpowering.

Everything blends seamlessly to create an impossibly tasty drink. It’s like drinking a tall glass of the best lemonade you’ve ever had. Only there’s a little something extra.

It’s a bright, boozy, citrusy masterpiece. And it’s perfect for those who enjoy a well-balanced cocktail. 

Two Salted Rim Glasses of Lemon Martini Drop


Here’s what you need to whip up this refreshing drink: 

  • Superfine sugar – You can typically find superfine sugar in the baking aisle of your local grocery store. It’s absolutely perfect for sugaring a rim. 
  • Lemons – You need an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the drink itself. Also, reserve a single wedge for sugaring the rim of your glass. Finally, make a lemon twist to garnish the cocktail. 
  • Vodka – Select a high-quality vodka you enjoy. Unflavored is best. 
  • Cointreau – As mentioned below, you can substitute with triple sec. However, Cointreau’s higher ABV and balanced flavor make it the best choice. 
  • Simple syrup. Simple syrup is a mix of equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar dissolves. You can make it in just a few minutes.

How to Make a Lemon Drop Martini 

When a drink is made entirely of alcohol, it is best to stir it. This is why some martini recipes suggest stirring instead of shaking.

However, this one also contains lemon juice and simple syrup. The best way to make it is to shake it. Follow these steps to prepare your lemon drop martini: 

1. Rim the glass. Follow the tips below to rim your glass perfectly every time. 

2. Combine the ingredients. Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker. Then, pour in the liquid ingredients. Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds until the drink is chilled. 

3. Strain and serve. Strain the drink into the prepared glass. Garnish it with a lemon twist, then serve and enjoy! 

Lemon Drop Martini With Lemon Zest

How to Make a Sugar Rim 

Making a sugar rim is much like making a salted rim. It’s a quick and easy process. Follow these simple steps: 

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  1. Pour the sugar evenly onto a plate. Slice a lemon into wedges. 
  2. Select one wedge and cut a notch out of it. Slide the notch in the lemon around the rim of the glass.
  3. Place the wet rim into the plate of sugar. Gently shake the glass to remove any excess. 

And that, my friends, is how you perfectly sugar the rim of your martini glass.

Tips & Tricks 

Remember these tips and tricks when mixing for the best results: 

  • Chill your glass beforehand. Place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before making the drink. A chilled glass will help your cocktail stay colder. 
  • Adjust the sweetness. Do this by adding more or less simple syrup.
  • Fresh is best! Freshly-squeezed lemon juice will give you the best flavor.
  • Get colorful. The lemon drop martini is typically a clear drink. To give it a yellow tint, use maple syrup instead of simple syrup. Citron vodka also helps achieve that lemony yellow hue.
  • Zap your lemon. If you have difficulty juicing, pop your lemon in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Doing so will make it softer and yield the most juice. 
  • Jazz up the rim. Don’t just use regular sugar. Use a mixture of sugar and lemon zest instead. Simply zest your lemon before juicing it, then mix that zest in with the sugar. 
Salted Rim Glasses of Boozy Lemon Drop Martini

Cointreau vs. Triple Sec 

These two often go hand in hand as interchangeable ingredients. 

So, what makes them different, and how are they alike? 

Both options are a type of orange liqueur. They’re both triple sec, which is simply a phrase meaning “triple distilled.” 

Cointreau is a type of triple sec (or triple distilled) liqueur. Unlike general triple sec, Cointreau is a brand name. It also has a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) than other triple sec varieties.

Finally, Cointreau has a more balanced bittersweet flavor. Triple sec is more intense and sweet. That makes Cointreau a better choice for the lemon drop martini. 

Still, either will work in a pinch. For more Cointreau creations, check out my article, “17 Best Cointreau Cocktails.”

Lemon Drop Martini



Prep time


Cooking time



This easy lemon drop martini will be your new go-to drink! Made with sugar, lemons, vodka, Cointreau, and simple syrup, it’s a refreshing cocktail!


  • superfine sugar, for the rim

  • lemon wedge, for rimming the glass

  • ice cubes

  • 2 ounces vodka

  • 3/4 ounces Cointreau or triple sec

  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice

  • 1 ounce simple syrup

  • lemon twist, for garnish


  • Spread the superfine sugar on a small plate. Run a lemon wedge along the rim of a chilled martini glass and dip it into the sugar to coat.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add the vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously until well chilled, about 20-30 seconds.
  • Strain the drink into the sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Lemon Drop Martini

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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