Lemon Drop Vodka Martini

This lemon drop martini is the perfect sweet and sour cocktail for summer. Using simple pantry ingredients and chilled vodka, it’s both delicious and refreshing.

Place the martinis down on the table

The past few weeks, instead of my usual mocktail, I’ve been treating myself to an ice cold Lemon Drop Martini.

I don’t like drinks that taste really strong of alcohol, so keeping this really cold is key. This isn’t a classic Lemon Drop Martini – it doesn’t have any triple sec and instead has lime seltzer added. I like to make cocktails with ingredients I typically have on hand, and triple sec is not one of them. Plus, I like my version better!

I love anything lemon, and the sweet and sour notes paired with the effervescence of the seltzer in this drink is really delicious. Maybe a little too delicious. You could drink several of these very easily and be in big trouble! (Ask me how I know! haha)

Close up of the lemon drop being put down on the table

A Quick Cocktail Using Pantry Ingredients

Do you always have a bunch of lemons at home? They are something that I purchase at the grocery store every week because inevitably I always need some lemon juice or zest for something that I’m making.

That’s why this Lemon Drop Martini is so great – it takes me 5 minutes to make it using ingredients I know I’ll always have in hand. Which makes it a great option to offer guests that might randomly turn up, too!

Walking away from the cockails left on the table

Sitting on the deck after a busy week of working and entertaining three very active kids, is such a wonderful thing. As much as I love when my husband finally joins me, the 15 or 20 minutes before he arrives are actually my favorite time (don’t tell him I said that!).

Sitting down and relaxing while drinking the lemon drop martini
Close up of the martini in the glass

It’s not often that I get to sit and relax; just me and my thoughts and noises of the neighborhood. I took these things for granted before I had kids and now cherish every minute I get to myself.

Top down look at the cocktail with the lemon peel inside

How to Make a Seriously Good Lemon Drop Martini

The key to the best lemon drop martini is balancing the sweet and sour notes. I’ve experimented with the measures in this recipe to create the perfect Lemon Drop Martini.

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

This recipe is incredibly simple, but there’s a few key things you need to keep in mind:

Use Fresh Lemon Juice

The bottled stuff will not cut it. Fresh only!

Use Good Quality Vodka

A high quality vodka makes all the difference in a drink like this. We usually use Titos, since it has a great taste and a great price.

Keep Everything Really Cold

The vodka and simple syrup should be cold before going in. A warm martini is not fun. Shake the cocktail mixer for a good 30 seconds until it feels really cold. I like to chill my martini glasses for a few minutes in the freezer beforehand, too.

Tip: No cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar with a lid on it!

Simple Syrup

This recipe requires simple syrup. Simple syrup is just equal parts sugar and water, dissolved over a low to medium heat. You’re going to want to make it ahead of time and allow it to cool in the fridge. You can also buy it in the store, but it takes 5 minutes to make it yourself.

How to Make Lemon Drop Martinis By The Pitcher

While this recipe makes enough for just one glass, you can easily scale the recipe. I usually double it and make one for me and my husband, but if you’re making them for a large crowd, just use the slider on the recipe card and set it to the number of servings you want.

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Lemon Drop Vodka Martini

lemon drop vodka martini
A delicious sweet and sour vodka martini made with fresh ingredients for a wonderful summer cocktail
Jenna Shaughnessy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serving Size 1


  • 1 ½ ounces good quality vodka (I use ice cold Titos)
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons simple syrup (dissolve equal parts sugar and water over low – medium heat and allow to cool)
  • 2 ounces lemon or lime seltzer (I like lime La Croix)
  • handful of ice
  • superfine sugar for glass rim
  • lemon wedge


  • Rub a lemon wedge along the rim of the glass. Place the glass upside down in sugar and twist to create a sugared rim.
  • Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds until it's really cold.
  • Strain the cocktail into the martini glass. Serve with a bit of lemon peel.


Use the slider next to “servings” to scale the recipe for as many servings as you need.
It’s important to use good quality vodka for best results. We keep ours in the freezer so that it’s always ice cold. 
I regularly make simple syrup and keep it in my fridge. If you’re planning on making this cocktail, make the simple syrup ahead of time so that it has time to cool. 
If you like your drink a tad stronger, feel free to increase the vodka to 2 oz!

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