The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini

The perfect lemon drop martini should be refreshingly tart, not cloyingly sweet. Lucky for you this is The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini! Give it a try soon.

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
I will admit it, I'm a lemon drop martini snob. If I am served a lemon drop that is not icy cold or is too sweet, I probably won't come back to your bar or at least not order another mixed drink. I know, sounds harsh, but I would prefer to just make my own cocktails at home and stick to wine and beer when I'm out if the cocktails are not made with an attention to detail.

I know I've mentioned in other cocktail posts about how little things matter when it comes to mixing the perfect drink at home. That's especially true for The Best Mojito and The World's Best Cosmopolitan Cocktail. These are the kinds of things a busy bartender might not have time to do or does not have access to at his bar.

However, last year I did have a lemon drop at a restaurant that I absolutely loved. It was cocktail perfection. If you're ever at Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, make sure to order the lemon drop. The food is amazing too, with no detail left undone.

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
One of the ingredients I use in my lemon drop martinis is this ultrafine pure cane sugar. It's in the baking aisle of the market in what looks like a milk carton. It is not the same as the pourable superfine sugar, it has to be ultra. The ultrafine sugar, sugars the rim of the glass perfectly, with a nice thin layer of sweetness. You don't want this sugared edge to be thick and gritty. Also a thinly, rimmed martini glass is also a must.

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
I use a small sieve to sprinkle the ultrafine sugar onto my glass rims that have been dipped in lemon juice.

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
Fresh lemons are a key ingredient in this drink (obviously) and one thing I cannot live without in my kitchen is my citrus press. It squeezes your lemons and limes to almost dry. It's not even possible to get as much juice out when you squeeze with your hands. Even the driest lemon or lime will yield lots of juice with this press. And it lasts for years and years. You have to have one.

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
A lemon drop needs to be icy cold. And while this drink is shaken vigorously in ice, it benefits to an icy finish in the glass and you don't want to add ice cubes.

This is where a high performance blender comes in and the reason they are pricey. You can crush ice to snow cone consistency in 10 seconds. I then add it to a freezer bag and keep it in my freezer to scoop out when making cocktails. It will stick together but it breaks up easily. So worth it and it undoubtedly makes a difference in this drink.

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
Icy cold and refreshingly tart!

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
Thinly sliced lemons will float on the top of your cocktail and give it an elegant look. Remember, the little things count.

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini
Serve this for any occasion that requires a good cocktail. And don't forget to use top shelf vodka. Lower quality vodka gives your drinks a sharp, dull taste.

Refreshing cocktails are a must when it comes to serving drinks and here are some of my favorites. This Summer Vodka Fizz needs to be on your cocktail list. A Red Wine Berry Spritzer is going to get you through the summer. A Cherry Lime Tequila Cocktail needs to be served at your next gathering. And who doesn't want to try some Salty Dog Sangria? And Pineapple Party Punch will make you think you're on vacation.

Five years ago I posted about Hard Cooked Pressure Eggs before pressure cookers were even cool. Six years ago Tangy Lemon-Limoncello Pie made an appearance right here! Eight years ago I shared Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Sauce and I've been making it for dinner ever since. Nine years ago I made Cheater's Key Lime Pie for pi day today. Ten years ago I made Whiskey Glazed Corned Beef and you might want to make it for St. Patrick's Day.

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Print Recipe

The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 1 drink


  • juice of one 5-6 oz lemon, plus more for glass rim*
  • 2.5 oz top shelf vodka such as Tito's
  • 1 Tablespoon, more for rim ultrafine baker's sugar
  • finely crushed ice
  • sliced lemon round for garnish


  • To sugar the rim of the martini glass, squeeze your extra lemon into a flat bottomed bowl and dip the rim of the glass into the bowl to coat the outside edges of the glass. Holding the glass upside down, sprinkle ultrafine sugar onto the outside edge of the glass rim.
  • Using a citrus press, squeeze the juice out of a 5-6 oz lemon into a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and sugar and fill halfway with large ice cubes. Close and shake vigorously for at least 40 shakes to dissolve sugar (wrap a towel around the shaker as it will get very cold to hold on to). Strain into a martini glass and scoop in finely crushed ice to float on the top. Add a thinly sliced lemon round to float on the top.
  • *I never measure my lemon juice exactly. With a juice press I know I will get enough juice out of the whole lemon. If you are hand squeezing you might have to use more than one lemon as your yield of juice will be low.

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