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Lemon Drop Martini

This easy Lemon Drop Martini is tart, sweet, and incredibly smooth. It has fresh lemon juice, vodka, orange liqueur, and simple syrup. Plus, it has a little extra sweetness from the lemon sugar rim.

Let’s keep the lemon vibe going – pair it with these delicious Vegan Lemon Bars, Creamy Lemon Tart with Almond Crust or my Flourless Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies.

Easy Lemon Drop Martini

Adult lemonade anyone?! That’s the flavor that we’re going for with this cocktail, but approaching it with a little sophistication! Who doesn’t feel fancy when you’re drinking out of a martini glass? And believe me, you’ll feel like you’re at a high-end bar when you’re sipping on this Lemon Drop Martini.

It’s fun, fruity, and classy. It’s also very smooth, tart, and a little sweet. It has everything you’d want from a refreshing cocktail!

The important thing to remember when making this cocktail is to use the best ingredients. It tastes the best when you use fresh lemons and the best liquor in your cabinet. Trust me!

a lemon drop martini with a lemon rind garnish and sugared rim

Why You’ll Love this Cocktail

Here’s why you’re going to love this tart and sweet cocktail!

  • It’s so simple to make. You don’t need any bartending skills to make this recipe. It comes together perfectly with just a few ingredients.
  • There are only 5 ingredients. You’ll use lemon in a few different ways to make this cocktail. Then all you need is the liquor, simple syrup, and some sugar.
  • It will please a crowd. The flavors are so simple and delicious, this cocktail will be a hit with everyone! There aren’t any complicated or fancy ingredients in this drink. It’s very pure and well-loved by all.
Bar ingredients to make a lemon drop martini including vodka, lemon juice, lemon peels, and Cointreau

Recipe Ingredients

Here is what you need to make a Lemon Drop Martini:

  • Lemons: I recommend using organic lemons when making cocktails.
  • Vodka: You’ll want to use a high-quality vodka for the best-tasting martini.
  • Cointreau: Cointreau is an orange liqueur that has a smooth flavor.
  • Simple Syrup: You can also use agave syrup.
  • Sugar: White sugar is best for rimming cocktail glasses because it’s fine enough to stick to the rim.

Cointreau vs. Triple Sec

Why should you use Cointreau instead of Triple Sec? Sure, you could use Triple Sec for this recipe, but I highly recommend using the higher-quality Cointreau. It may be a bit more expensive, but that money is well spent.

Cointreau is more balanced and smooth than Triple Sec. While they are both orange-flavored liqueurs, Cointreau will always be my choice for martinis and other cocktails.

a lemon drop martini with a lemon rind garnish and sugared rim

How to Make a Lemon Drop Martini

Here are the simple steps to making this cocktail.

First, you’ll make the lemon garnish. You’ll do this by twisting a thin lemon rind. It’s a fun garnish that looks fancy but is really simple to make!

Then, make the lemon sugar rim. Mix the sugar and lemon zest for the rim of the glass. Rub the rim with a lemon wedge and then dip it into the sugar to cover the edge of the glass.

a cocktail shaker pouring a drink into a martini glass with sugared rim

Next, make the cocktail. Pour the vodka, Cointreau, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with a few since cubes. Shake it well and then strain it into the martini glass. Garnish with the lemon twist and the cocktail is ready to be served!

How to Make a Lemon Twist

Here’s how to make the fun and fancy lemon twist garnish for the cocktail.

  • First, cut a slice from a lemon. Then, place your lemon slice on a cutting board. Using a paring knife, carefully cut along the peel to separate the fruit from the peel.
  • Remove the lemon fruit from the peel. You only need the peel, not the fruit.
  • Cut the peel so it becomes a thin long strip. Then twist it, and hold it in place for 10 seconds to help the peel hold its shape.
three martini glasses with a pale yellow cocktail

How to Add the Sugar Rim

It’s best to add sugar to the rim when it’s wet. So the tastiest way to do this is to use a lemon wedge!

Rub the fruit part of the lemon wedge around the edge of the glass. Then dip the glass into the lemon sugar mixture. Turn it lightly a few times in the mixture so the edge is covered with the sugar. Now your glass is ready to go!

a lemon drop martini with a lemon rind garnish and sugared rim

When to Serve a Lemon Drop Martini

There really isn’t a wrong time to serve this martini! Here are some suggestions for serving this cocktail.

  • Serve it as a dessert cocktail. Just like my Espresso Martini, this cocktail makes a great dessert drink!
  • Make a large batch for a party. You can easily make a larger batch of this recipe and serve it from a pitcher. Just make sure that it’s chilled!
  • You can even serve it in the winter! You don’t need to skip this cocktail just because it’s winter. You could use maple syrup as the sweetener and add cinnamon to the sugar rim for a seasonal twist!
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a lemon drop martini with a lemon rind garnish and sugared rim

Lemon Drop Martini

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  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Cocktail Shaker
  • Cuisine: American


This Lemon Drop Martini is so simple to make! It has fresh lemon juice, smooth vodka, Cointreau, and a lemony sugared rim. It’s tart, a little sweet, and so refreshing!



Lemon Drop Martini

  • 3 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce cointreau
  • 1  ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup or agave
  • 2 slices of lemon (full circle or coin), for lemon twist garnish

Lemon Sugar Rim:

  • 23 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • zest of one lemon


  1. Lemon Twist Garnish: Place your lemon slice on a cutting board. Using a paring knife, carefully cut along the peel so as to separate the fruit from the peel. Remove the fruit part and set aside so all you are left with is the peel. Cut the peel so it becomes a long strip and then twist it, hold it in place for 10 seconds to help the peel hold its shape. Set aside.
  2. Make Lemon Sugar Rim: To a small plate or saucer, add sugar and lemon zest. Gently stir around.
  3. Coat Glasses: Using a lemon wedge, rub it along the rim of the martini glass. Flip martini glass upside and place lined rim onto the lemon sugar plate, gently press glass down and spin trying to coat the rim of the martini glass with the lemon sugar mixture. Set aside.
  4. Make Lemon Drop Martini: To a cocktail shaker add vodka, cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and 3-4 ice cubes. Secure lid and vigorously shake until the cocktail shaker is frosted. Pour martini into lined martini glasses using a cocktail strainer. Garnish with lemon twist and serve.


  • Serving Size: 1 cocktail
  • Calories: 199
  • Sugar: 19 g
  • Sodium: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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