Lemon Drop

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Cocktail History

The Lemon Drop is a classic cocktail that was created by Norman Jay Hobday in the 1970s at Henry Africa’s in San Francisco, California. It is is traditionally made with a simple mixture of vodka, citrus, and simple syrup, and it was most likely named after the lemon drop candy because of its sweet-tart flavor.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Vodka: This is a spirit made with grains, vegetables or fruits, and alcohol. We used Belvedere Vodka because it has a distinct savory flavor with notes of vanilla, spice, and black pepper. For a mocktail version of this drink, try STRYKK Not V*dka in place of the vodka.

Triple Sec: This is a liqueur made with bitter oranges, lemons, sugar, and alcohol. We used Cointreau because it’s one of the highest quality orange liqueurs on the market. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Orange Sec Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the orange liqueur.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with white sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Lemon Twist: This is the peel of a lemon that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The Lemon Drop features light aromas of lemon and tastes refreshingly tart but not overly sweet with the taste of the vodka mostly being masked by the citrus flavors.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: This drink is much too sweet for Alex but is one the cocktails Kendall first loved, and that’s why we’re sharing it on her birthday. It’s tart and refreshing, and it’s a good gateway recipe if your palate is underdeveloped but you’re wanting to get into drinking more craft cocktails.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Recipe

AuthorSips From Scripts

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 ¾ oz Triple Sec
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Lemon Twist

Method
1

Add vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 ¾ oz Triple Sec
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Lemon Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon twist.

Lemon Drop

Make It a Mocktail: Use STRYKK Not V*dka in place of the vodka and Lyre’s Orange Sec Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the orange liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

More Vodka Cocktails

If you like this vodka-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe

Moscow Mule: A vodka cocktail made with lime juice, ginger beer, a lime wheel, and a mint sprig

Mountaintop Meadow Cocktail Recipe

Mountaintop Meadow: A vodka cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, lavender bitters, dry sparkling wine, a pineapple wedge, and mint

Vesper Martini Cocktail Recipe

Vesper Martini: A gin and vodka cocktail made with Lillet Blanc and a lemon twist

Paradise Lost Cocktail Recipe

Paradise Lost: A vodka and sherry cocktail made with coconut water, lime juice, orgeat syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, and mint

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