Lemon Drop Cocktail

The latter part of the 20th century did not produce the most creative cocktails. With few exceptions, the Cosmopolitan being a notable one, the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are considered a dark time in the history of mixed libations. But, there are some often overlooked gems that continue to refresh and tantalize. Unfortunately, with the Lemon Drop, the recipe has devolved into a syrupy, cloying, artificial flavor laden mess. As with all great cocktails gone awry, a return to fresh and simple ingredients revives it and brings it back to its former glory. The Lemon Drop also demonstrates how vodka can spread out and maximize the complimentary flavors in a cocktail.


1 1/2 oz citrus vodka

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. super fine sugar


shake with ice

strain into a cocktail glass

garnish with a lemon twist


blair frodelius 12 Apr 2011
9:12 am


I’m with you on sugar use on glassware.  I don’t like a Sidecar rimmed with it either, preferring to garnish with an orange peel.  As for sugar in a cocktail, I’ve grown to like how a drink gradually becomes sweeter as you get towards the end.  This works especially well when using a muddled sugar cube in an Old-Fashioned or Sazerac.  Kind of makes it a fitting end to an evening of imbibing.  :)


Blair Frodelius

PrestitoVitalizio 28 Apr 2011
11:51 pm

Blair Frodelius, you believe that without sugar is not good? you can replace the lemon and orange in this cocktail?


Robert Hess 29 Apr 2011
5:44 am

Blair is saying that, like me, the sugared rim on the Lemon Drop is a bit of a nuicence. My main problem with it, is that in most cases the sugar will get the outside of the glass all sticky, which will get my hands all sticky, which I think is very annoying. The only way to do a sugared rim with any hope of avoiding this, is to pre-sugar the rims well ahead of time, and make sure they are totally dry, and then be careful when pouring not to get any moisture on the outside of the glass. But few places are going to do it this way.

blair frodelius 29 Apr 2011
6:47 am

Well stated Robert!  That is exactly what I meant.

If I do rim a glass for a Sidecar or a Lemon Drop, I will use superfine sugar which tends to look more refined (no pun intended).



JT Thomas 23 Feb 2013
2:57 pm

Sara, I suppose one could make an Orange Drop cocktail, with an Orange Vodka (I like Stoli for that) and some orange juice BUT it will not have the tartness that the lemon juice gives.  Couple ways around that. 1) Cut back on the sugar, to a third as much, 2) Use 1/2 oz Orange Juice and 1/4 oz Lemon juice, 3) Use 1/4 oz regular Orange juice and 1/2 oz Sour orange juice (Around here, Columbian Sour Oranges have been showing up in Ethnic Markets recently) or (and this will change the whole look of it), Use Blood Orange Juice - which will turn it red.  I think this would be tart enough, as Blood oranges have a taste that’s somewhere between lemon, Orange, and grapefruit to me.

Not what you were asking, but you got me thinking. Mulit grazzi for that.

Celestino 6 Mar 2013
10:15 am

I can’t really say I liked this drink. Mediocre at its best. Then again, what can one expect from a drink with the ingredients as shown? I liked your presentation, though. Makes this clip worth watching.

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