Lemon drop martini is just a few basic ingredients and makes a delicious, refreshing and elegant sipper with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.
Hello, December! 👋
We have our holiday decorations up - including some new ones this year, since we're all staying home a lot more - our Elf on the Shelf has made her appearance and we've already finished our first Christmas puzzle.
I'm all around really pretty happy to see the last month of 2020. Not just because I'm ready to bring this year to a close, but because it really will have lots of fun. It may just be us hanging around, but we've got holiday books, movies, puzzles and more to keep us busy. Not to mention all the holiday cookies and baking we plan to do!
Today though, we're talking cocktails.
I mentioned recently with my apple cider mimosas that I am making an effort to get some more fun drink recipes here on Family Food on the Table.
Because drinks are more fun when they are shared with friends, right?
Also, because it’s 2020. Enough said, right? 😂
And even if we can’t get together in person with friends and family right now, we can share recipes, make them together and then chat by video.
My girl friends and I have replaced our monthly girls dinner with a weekly Zoom call. We get to see each other and catch up more often, visit with each other’s kids and pets when they make an appearance (the husbands tend to stay away; smart guys) and include our two friends who don’t live nearby.
It’s been one of the highlights of this year for me, and I think it’s kept us all a little saner.
And I’m thinking that having a drink theme for those calls would be a fun thing to add in for the winter!
First up is this pretty, flirty lemon drop martini.
And to clarify, this is a martini. This is not a lemon drop shot served in a shot glass. Though I did have a girlfriend order this drink at a restaurant once and they brought her the shot by accident. It was pretty funny.
This is for sophisticated sipping, not quick chugging. Or maybe you chug your martinis these days. It’s OK, I won’t judge.
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up on how to make a lemon drop martini. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making a lemon drop martini:
- Feel free to use a citrus vodka if you have one on hand and want a really lemon-y flavor. Otherwise, regular vodka is just fine. Make sure it’s a good enough quality though; we don’t want the rubbing alcohol kind.
- Cointreau is my favorite for this martini, but you could substitute triple sec or another orange-flavored liqueur if you prefer.
- Fresh lemon juice is a must. Please don’t use the stuff from a bottle in this drink.
- The measurements in the recipe card below make a really well-balanced martini. However, everyone has different tastes, so if you’d like to adjust this (add more vodka or Cointreau for instance), feel free! (Same goes for adding more simple syrup if you want to sweeten it up some more.)
- Simple syrup is super duper easy to make, promise. I have details coming up below for you on that, but don’t let it intimidate you. (Although, in a pinch, you could try substituting maple syrup instead of the simple syrup. I have heard that can work, but haven't tried it with this recipe myself.)
Also, you definitely don’t need to rim the glass if you prefer not to. It adds a little pizazz but it’s totally optional.
If you are going to do a rim, super fine sugar works best, but regular sugar - as is or pulsed in a blender to break it down a bit - is fine to use, too.
OK, here’s the run-down on making simple syrup for this drink,.
How to make simple syrup:
- Simple syrup is simply a water-sugar combination where the sugar has been completely dissolved into the liquid.
- To make simple syrup, heat ½ cup of water in a small pot over high heat on the stove. Once simmering, stir in ½ cup of granulated sugar.
- Reduce heat to low or turn off heat completely, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Let cool completely before using. Store extra in a covered container in the refrigerator.
You can make simple syrups with other types of sugar (I love demerara sugar for my old fashioned cocktails) but I recommend a regular white sugar for this martini.
Simple syrup will store, covered, in the refrigerator for several weeks. So you have plenty of time to use the leftovers.
Ta-da, you are ready to enjoy a lovely little lemon drop martini. And I hope you do - soon.
Cheers to you and to a happy holiday season!
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- 1 ½ oz. vodka (citrus vodka is fine but not required)
- ½ oz. Cointreau
- ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup (see notes)
- Super fine sugar, for rimming the glass (optional)
- Lemon twist, for garnish (optional)
- Run a lemon slice around the rim of the martini glass and rim with sugar, if desired.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake for 20-30 seconds.
- Strain into the martini glass, garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!
Vodka: Feel free to use a citrus vodka if you have one on hand and want a really lemon-y flavor. Otherwise, regular vodka is just fine. Make sure it’s a good enough quality though; we don’t want the rubbing alcohol kind.
Cointreau: Cointreau is my favorite for this martini, but you could substitute triple sec or another orange-flavored liqueur if you prefer.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is a must. Please don’t use the stuff from a bottle in this drink.
Simple syrup: To make simple syrup, heat ½ cup of water in a small pot over high heat on the stove. Once simmering, stir in ½ cup of granulated sugar. Reduce heat to low or turn off heat completely, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool completely before using. (Extra will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)
You can also try substituting maple syrup in place of the simple syrup in a pinch.
Adjustments: The measurements in the recipe card above make a really well-balanced martini. However, everyone has different tastes, so if you’d like to adjust this (add more vodka or Cointreau for instance), feel free! Same goes for adding more simple syrup if you want to sweeten it up some more.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g