The classic lemon drop can be found on almost every bar menu. It is the favorite drink of anyone who likes the idea of getting a drink in a cocktail glass, but doesn’t want the alcohol forward character of Manhattans or martinis. The sour acidity of the lemon works to balance the sweet character of the drink. All with a dash of sophisticated presentation. While the lemon drop does have the risk of becoming cloyingly sweet, if made correctly this is a cocktail that can please a wide range of tastes. And is infinitely drinkable in a myriad of settings. When made well, the lemon drop can remind of a wonderful homemade lemonade, refreshingly sour and absolutely delicious.
The Lemon Drop
- 2 ounces Vodka
- ½ ounce Triple Sec
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- rim with sugar
- garnish with a lemon twist
Begin by selecting your favorite cocktail glass and filling it with ice cubes. Set aside and allow the glass to chill. In a cocktail shaker, add a generous portion of ice and begin to pour in the ingredients. Then add the vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. Shake like crazy until the citrus juice is fully incorporated and the lemon drop has been chilled. Once the drink is ready, it is time to finish the preparation of the glass. Dump out the ice and run a piece of lemon around the rim. This makes the rim wet and just a little sticky which makes the sugar stick perfectly in place. Next invert the glass and spin the rim in sugar (easiest if you just pour the sugar on a small plate). Now carefully strain the lemon drop into the glass. Finally garnish with a delicate lemon twist and serve to your favorite person. No one is going to judge if that is you with a drink this scrumptious.
What Vodka Should I Use in this Lemon Drop?
As it would happen, the flavor profiles of vodka don’t differ that noticeably to the average drinker. You are instead most likely to notice the smoothness of a particular brand. For a smooth, budget conscious yet premium vodka I would try the new Råvo Vodka from Sweden. Selling at $17-$25 per fifth, it offers exceptional smoothness at a very reasonable cost for the quality. With a more conservative budget, New Amsterdam Vodka is very smooth for the price point and Luksusowa Vodka is also quite tasty and affordable. And if you need something still cheaper to make this lemon drop, a brand such as Ruskova will serve you well.
Total cost per drink? ~$0.95