When I look at the list of classic cocktails, I notice that most of them are pretty simple. One drink that I enjoy mixing as much I enjoy drinking is the Lemon Drop shot . It’s clean, it tastes good, and you can make it a Lemon Drop Martini just by increasing the volume of the recipe a little. I would put the Lemon Drop in the pantheon of great Girl’s Night Out cocktails, like the Cosmopolitan or the Appletini. Unlike those other drinks, guys can drink a Lemon Drop cocktail without too much stigma attached. After all, who doesn’t like vodka lemonade?
Lemon Drop Shots
- 2 oz vodka
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 oz simple syrup or 1 tsp superfine sugar
There are countless variations on the lemon drop recipe. You can use Absolut Citron or another citrus infused vodka. Because this mixed drink does not have a lot of ingredients, I think it’s best to use a good quality vodka, not cheap stuff, because that’s the element that is going to stand out the most. Freshly squeezed lemons taste best (as the bartenders at the Press Club will attest), but the juice that comes in the little plastic lemons will work fine in a pinch. Some folks take the classic lemon drop recipe and spin it, adding 1 oz triple sec, giving the lemon drop a complimentary orange flavor. Some people make the martini version by using 2 oz sweet and sour mix instead of lemon juice. Personally, I frown on that practice and I would only use it as a last resort.
If using sugar instead of simple syrup in your recipe, add that and the lemon juice to a shaker first by themselves. Shake until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add ice, and then pour the vodka and any other liqueurs you are adding for variation (could be Midori, triple sec, or just stick with straight vodka). Shake and strain as you would a normal drink. Garnish with a fresh lemon slice or curled lemon peel. If serving the Lemon Drop Martini, you can rim the glass with fresh lemon juice and then sugar for an extra touch.
If you opt for the preferred fresh lemon route, your total time for preparing this drink should be about 3 minutes.Lemon Drop shots are a staple of bars and home parties everywhere. I think the appeal is that they not only taste good, like alcoholic lemonade, but they are also easy to make. You can branch out from the basic Lemon Drop shot recipe by adding various liquors, but the basic lemon drink is one that will never die out.
The lemon drop actually takes a bit of work for such a small drink, but when done correctly, it is simply elegant. If ordering this at a bar, be sure to tip your server accordingly for their effort. The nice part about this drink is that it is made with just three ingredients, each of which are common to every home bartender’s pantry.