This citrusy variation on a classic martini combines the sweet tart flavors of lemon candy into a refreshing sip.
A Lemon Drop Martini is usually my go-to order if I'm meeting friends out for drinks or have a business meeting over drinks. 

I feel like it's sophisticated, and most bartenders know how to make one - and a good one at that. 

I also love Mojitos and Moscow Mules, but from experience often bars don't stock fresh mint or ginger beer (or copper mugs), so those two cocktail orders can be iffy. But all bars stock lemons, simple syrup, and vodka.

The Lemon Drop Martini boasts uncomplicated flavors, but that doesn't make it a run-of-the-mill drink. It's reportedly a favorite of Martha Stewart's

However, some bartenders reportedly malign those who order them, and in fact one bartender was quoted as saying, "If you order a Lemon Drop, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're high maintenance and not very nice." (I'm neither, by the way.)

So don't let that dissuade you. A good bartender will make you a good Lemon Drop, and Food &Wine has just declared the Lemon Drop the 2024 Summer Cocktail. 

So why not just make your own at home? Because if it's good enough for Martha, it's good enough for me.

One very important note: The key to a good Lemon Drop Martini is freshly squeezed lemon juice. Don't even think of using anything else! 

And a pro tip: Choose the lemons with the smoothest skin for the most juice!

As for the orange liqueur, I like to use Cointreau, but you can use Triple Sec or Grand Marnier if that's what you've got. 

Lemon Drop Martini

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 ounces vodka
3/4 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Juice from one lemon (about one ounce)
Lemon zest

With your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar in a shallow dish, then rim the edge of a martini or coupe glass (I love these fluted coupe glasses!) with some of the simple syrup or rub a lemon half over the rim. Roll the glass rim in the lemon sugar.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake the vodka, Cointreau, syrup and lemon juice until frothy and chilled. 

Strain over ice into the prepared martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge or curl.

Watch as I make a Lemon Drop Martini.
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