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Lemon Drop Martini made with Limoncello, orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and a sugar rimmed glass is the perfect combination of sweet and sour in this refreshing cocktail. This fun and easy cocktail recipe is perfect for serving at parties all summer long!
Check out the Holiday Martinis page for even more festive, easy to whip up martini recipes for any holiday gathering throughout the year!
I originally shared this recipe November 2014. Updated January 2023.
While I was in Idaho for my Mom’s birthday, she through a dinner party for some of her friends…and I was the Chef!
Let’s start with the best Lemon Drop Martini, and then I will explain the rest. This is my Mom’s new favorite drink!! I have been hearing about them for months now, and you know me, I had to investigate.
So we went to Bardenay’s Restaurant for a Three Martini lunch, and also tried their Huckleberry Lemon Drop Martinis.
I think I may now have a new favorite cocktail as well. I prefer the regular Lemon Drop over the Huckleberry, but they are both delicious. Personally, I thought the huckleberries tasted like blueberries. So in my mind they are interchangeable.
Why make a lemon drop martini with limoncello?
Bardenay’s makes their own lemon vodka, which is probably why they are dangerously delicious. We tried making them at home with Absolut Citron, but they weren’t quite the same.
Limoncello is much closer to the original, and is also sweeter than lemon vodka, so I was able to create a smooth lemon martini without needing to add simple syrup.
🍸How to make a Lemon Drop Martini with Limoncello
Start by rubbing lemon juice around the rim of a martini glass, then dip the glasses in super fine sugar.
Garnish with lemon slices and set aside. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the limoncello (or high quality lemon vodka), triple sec, and lemon juice.
Shake to combine, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with a lemon slice or lemon twist and serve immediately.
It is an Italian lemon liqueur that is mainly produced in southern Italy using Sorrento lemons. It is traditionally served chilled as a digestivo, or after the meal.
Limoncello is made with the zest, or peels without the pitch of lemons that is steeped in rectified spirit until the oil is released. It has a slightly cloudy appearance created by the essential oil droplets that remain suspended in the cocktail.
The most popular brands include Il Tramonto, Lazzaroni, Pallini, Caravella, and Vincenzi. Not all brands are available in all areas, and some states have their own local favorites.
Huckleberries are the state fruit of Idaho, and according to Wikipedia – “The berries are small and round, 5–10 mm in diameter and look like dark blueberries. In taste, the berries range from tart to sweet, with a flavor similar to that of a blueberry, especially in blue-and purple-colored varieties.
However, many kinds of huckleberries have a noticeable, distinct taste different from blueberries, and some have noticeably larger seeds.”
To change the flavor of your lemon drop martini, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of flavored syrup with the other ingredients before shaking.
- Huckleberry Lemon Drop – if you have access to huckleberry syrup give it a try
- Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini – substitute blueberries or raspberries for the blackberries in this simple syrup recipe
- Strawberry Lemon Drop Martini
Libra Meal Inspiration
While we were having lunch, we put together the menu for the dinner party (which also serves as this month’s cooking with astrology libra meal). I thought it would be fun to stick with a Northwest theme since I was in Idaho.
For the first course I made a Salad with candied pecans and Huckleberry Vinaigrette that is based on my Aquarius Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette from last year, I just substituted huckleberry jam for the blueberry preserves.
For dessert I created an amazing Chocolate Huckleberry Rum Cocktail Cake. You really should try it!
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Lemon Drop Martini
- 1.5 ounce Limoncello or high quality citron vodka I used Caravella
- 0.5 ounce orange liqueur Cointreau or triple sec
- .75 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
- super fine sugar to rim the glass
- lemon slices or lemon twist to garnish
- Rub lemon juice around the rim of martini glass.
- Dip glass in super fine sugar, and garnish with lemon slices. Set aside.
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Add Limoncello, triple sec, and lemon juice. *Add flavored syrup is using*
- Shake cocktail to combine, and pour into prepared glasses.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons huckleberry, blueberry or strawberry syrup – if desired.
- The sugar used to rim the glasses is not included in the Nutrition Facts.