Cooking for One

Lemon Drop Martini

December  9, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.
Test Kitchen Notes

Like so many cocktails before it, the exact history of the Lemon Drop Martini—or Lemon Drop, for short—is something of a mystery. Whether or not you believe the lore behind this candy-inspired martini (it was supposedly invented in the '70s at a San Francisco bar), facts are facts: Oprah declared this her favorite cocktail on national television in 2006 and there’s probably footage somewhere on the internet to back this up.

Celebrity aside, the success of the Lemon Drop Martini lies in the balance between sweet and sour and the addition of a quality vodka, like Ketel One. This recipe takes the basic Lemon Drop formula of vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice and adds orange liqueur for an extra citrus boost.

This recipe is shared in partnership with Ketel One Vodka. —The Editors

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 3 minutes
  • makes 1 cocktail
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 lemon twist, for garnish
In This Recipe
  1. Place martini glass in the freezer to chill.
  2. Make the simple syrup: Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and water to a small pot set over medium-high heat and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the water is simmering, about 1 minute. Set aside and let cool completely.
  3. Make the martini: Fill a shaker up with ice. Add the Ketel One Vodka, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and ¾ ounce of the simple syrup. Shake for 10 to 20 seconds, or until the outside of the shaker is frosty-cold.
  4. Place the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar on a small dish. Remove the martini glass from the freezer and dip the rim of the glass in the sugar.
  5. Strain the martini into the chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist. Serve right away.

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Alexis deBoschnek is a freelance recipe developer, cook, and video host based in the Catskills.

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