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Looking down on lemon drop cocktail, next to lemon peel strips.

Classic Lemon Drop Cocktail + Shot

  • Author: Christina
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes (mostly inactive)
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail; 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: American


Whether sipped from a martini glass, straight up as a shot or spritzed up with a little club soda, the lemon drop is the quintessential cocktail.  Easy for the home mixologist and perfect for when wine or beer just won't do!



For Lemon Drop Cocktail + Spritzer

  • 2 ounces/double shot citrus vodka
  • ½ ounce/1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1 ounce/shot fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce/shot lemon simple syrup (recipe below)
  • For Spritzer: splash of club soda or brut sparkling water

For Lemon Drop Shot

  • ⅔ ounce/shot lemon/citrus vodka
  • ½ ounce/1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce/ scant teaspoon simple syrup

For Lemon Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • peel of one lemon, white pith removed

For Garnish

  • lemon or granulated sugar, for rimming glasses
  • thin strips of lemon peel, white pith removed


For Lemon Simple Syrup

  1. In a small pot, combine lemon peel, sugar and water and bring just to a boil.
  2. Turn of heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Remove lemon peel, store chilled

For Lemon Sugar

  1. Super simple! Combine about a half cup of sugar in a small baggie or container with several strips of lemon peel.
  2. Shake vigorously to allow the peel's oils to release. Store the sugar with the peel for a more intense flavor over time.

For Cocktails

  1. Pour enough granulated or lemon sugar onto a small plate to rim glasses. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of the glasses, then dip into the sugar. 
  2. Using two high ball glasses or a cocktail shaker, combine all drink ingredients and a good helping of ice.
  3. Seal and shake until the glasses or shaker frost over.
  4. Pour into martini or shot glass. For a spritzer, top with a couple splashes of club soda or even brut sparkling wine.

Keywords: lemon drop, lemon drop cocktail, lemon cocktails, how to make a lemon drop, mocktail lemon drop