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

Apple Cider vodka Cocktail

vodka and apple cider recipe

For me, there’s something synonymous about fall and apple cider.  It reminds me of childhood apple picking days in New York with my family, and then coming home and drinking all of the amazing cider that we bought while at the apple orchid.  I like apples, sure, but apple cider is where it’s AT guys.  While home visiting my family for Christmas a few years ago, I found myself up late watching TV while everyone else was asleep…I’ve always been a night owl, so it’s not really any big surprise.  My dad ran out of wine that night and I was craving a cocktail as I watched old episodes of Law & Order: SVU, as we do.  After checking my dad’s fridge, where he keeps ALL wine (both white AND red- don’t ask), I realized he was out and my options were: water, orange juice and, wait for it, apple cider.  Instinctively I went for the OJ because lord knows I loved me a good Screwdriver in college, but then a light went off in my head about the cider.  I mean, if vodka works well with orange juice, why not fancy apple juice?  The verdict: DELICIOUS.

Apple Cider Vodka Cocktail

  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1-2 ice cubes
  • Apple cider
  • Cinnamon Stick and/or apple slice for garnish

1.  Put ice cubes into 8 ounce glass, and add shot of vodka

2.  Fill the glass up with apple cider

3.  Stir the drink with the cinnamon stick and add apple slice, if desired


Cocktail Alert: Standard Watermelon Martini

watermelon martini

Watermelon is just the fruit of summer, and you know it.  I recently tested out this delicious watermelon martini recipe from Russian Standard Vodka and I’m completely obsessed.


  • 2 oz. Russian Standard Original
  • 2 oz. fresh watermelon juice
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 slice of watermelon

Shake with ice and strain into chilled coupe. Garnish with fresh watermelon.

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