The Lemon Drop Cocktail

the lemon drop-2

Sometimes you want to have something that’s a little more sleek and sexy to drink and The Lemon Drop, a martini, is just that – sweet, sour, delicious, and strong. You’ll need a tiny bit more preparation time than you did for The Paloma, but trust me, it’s worth it.


  • 1 ½ ounces of vodka (about one shot glass)
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur (like Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc.)
  • Sugar*
  • The juice of half a lemon, with twisted peel or wedge for garnish, optional
  • Ice

the lemon drop

First, rim your glass with sugar. I used a margarita glass, but this is technically a martini. Use whatever wide mouth style glass you have.  Put enough sugar on a shallow plate that’s wide enough for the edge of your glass to fit on it. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of your glass until it’s just moist. Dip the edge of the glass into the sugar.

Fill your cocktail shaker with crushed ice, and add the vodka, liqueur, sugar, and lemon juice. Shake well – really, really well! – to dissolve the sugar. Strain your drink into the sugar-rimmed glass.

*You can buy superfine sugar, an instantly dissolving sugar used specifically for drinks. Regular sugar will take longer to dissolve – you’ll have to shake long and hard. You can avoid all the shaking by making a basic simple syrup instead. Just boil equal parts sugar and water, stirring until fully dissolved. Let cool fully before using, and any leftover can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

the lemon drop 3

Things to know when buying vodka, according to Jo:

A lot of things affect the quality of vodka, which is why price ranges so drastically. Different vodkas brands each have their own distinct smell, flavor, aftertaste, and burn, and can be grain or potato based, or even distilled from fruit. Any impurities in the distillation process that make it into the final product will affect the quality of the liquor.

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules like there are for tequila – everyone has their own preference for which vodka is best. I’d suggest trying those teensy bottles at the register in your liquor store, or making good friends with your favorite bartender and trying lots of different shots, until you find one or two you like. It’s best to have an affordable, everyday brand for cocktails, and a pricier brand to sip for special occasions. I’m more of a tequila girl, and I chose this limited edition Absolut Citron because I really liked the bottle – it just worked out that it tasted great, too.

Jo Walker, Intern