Looking for the best Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello cocktail recipe?
After traveling along the gorgeous Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy we fell in love with subtly sweet and tart limoncello. At local restaurants Italian lemon liqueur is often offered to guests as a complimentary end of meal tipple during the dessert course.
Our quick & easy vodka cocktail recipe is a fun and refreshing mixed drink to enjoy in the summer on a hot day. We love to serve the tart citrus forward drink at cottage happy hour, al fresco barbecues, and Italian dinner parties.
My homemade Lemon Drop Martini recipe features premium vodka, limoncello, orange liqueur, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, sparkling water, lemon peel and basil leaves.
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What Is A Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello Cocktail?
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi. In northern Italy, the liqueur is often referred to instead as limoncino.
It is the second most popular liqueur in Italy (after Aperol) and is traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestivo.
Limoncello is made from the zest of lemons and usually has a slightly cloudy appearance, which originates from the presence of small essential oil droplets suspended in the drink.
A Lemon Drop is a vodka-based craft cocktail that has a lemony, sweet and sour flavour, often prepared using fresh lemon juice, triple sec and simple syrup. The mixed drink was invented in the 1970s by Norman Jay Hobday, the founder and proprietor of Henry Africa’s bar in San Francisco, California.
Our Lemon Drop cocktail recipe gets its tart citrus flavour by adding Italian Limoncello liqueur along with fresh lemon juice.
Travel to Italy by Making a Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey, France, Malta and Italy.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants and cocktail bars.
What I love most about traveling to Italy is the opportunity to sample unique dishes and drinks in each region and city. The dishes in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Volterra, Saturnia, Pitigliano, Sorano, Montalcino, Siena) are unique from what you’d find in Venice, Modena, Milan, Rome and the Amalfi Coast.
Once back home from an Italian holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the regional flavours of Italy and can impress friends and family by making this Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini!
You May Also Enjoy These Italian Recipes…
- Amaretto Disaronno Sour Cocktail
- Negroni Spritz Cocktail
- Italian Prosecco and Gin Cocktail
- Aperol Gin Cocktail
- Arugula Fig Burrata and Prosciutto Salad
- Traditional Tagliatelle alla Bolognese Pasta
- Ndunderi Amalfi Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi
- Lumache Rigate Snail Pasta with Garlic Butter
- Creamy Saffron Tagliatelle Pasta with Ricotta and Mint
- Sartu Di Riso Italian Baked Risotto
- Maccheroni al Ferretto Pasta with Beef Ragu
- Vegetarian Gorgonzola Risotto al Radicchio
- Creamy Prime Rib Pasta
- Crispy Roast Chicken and Leek Risotto
- Easy Caprese Gnocchi Cheese Bake Casserole
- Fresh Fig Prosciutto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Homemade Corzetti Pasta
- Burrata Bruschetta Crostini with Tomato Chutney
- Culurgiones Sardinian Cheese & Potato Stuffed Pasta
- Involtini di Pollo with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts, & Cheese
- Healthy Vegetarian Mafalda Pasta Noodles
- Creamy Parmesan Ditalini Soup
- Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu
- Cheesy Polenta Recipe
Best Selling Vodka
In the 90’s vodka was all the rage, as martini bars sprung up in cocktail-loving North American cities like Toronto and New York.
Here are some of the world’s best selling vodka brands and our local small batch favourites:
- Grey Goose: the world’s top selling premium vodka has been produced in France since the 1990s.
- Belvedere: is a close second for world’s favourite premium vodka brand. The Polish rye vodka is named after Belweder, the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw.
- Stolichnaya: also known as Stoli, is produced in Riga, Latvia. The brand produces a wide variety of flavoured vodkas, perfect for seasonal cocktail parties.
- Titos: began as a small-batch vodka brand distilled in Texas. Today, it’s recognized as the best selling vodka in America. Titos is made from corn, making it a gluten-free friendly spirit.
- Ketel One: is a Dutch premium vodka brand with a flavour palette offering hints of honey and citrus.
- Absolut: is an iconic Swedish distiller and was the top selling vodka brand globally for decades. The brand offers a colourful collection of flavoured vodka bottles.
- Smirnoff: this Russian brand was founded in Moscow and today sells 39 different vodka flavours.
- Iceberg Vodka: the top selling vodka in Canada is made from icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland.
- Dillon’s Distillery: This Beamsville, Ontario producer makes 2 small batch vodkas near Niagara.
Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello Recipe Ingredients
Our sparkling Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello cocktail is made with fresh and premium ingredients.
- Vodka: we suggest using Grey Goose, Stoli or Absolut. Add additional citrus flavour by using a lemon-flavoured vodka if you prefer.
- Limoncello: you can make homemade limoncello or purchase a bottle at your local liquor store.
- Orange Liqueur: we suggest using Cointreau or Triple Sec.
- Simple Syrup: use homemade simple syrup to sweeten the cocktail. Honey is an excellent natural substitue.
- Lemon Juice: only use freshly squeezed lemon juice, never store bought concentrate.
- Soda Water: we suggest using premium Fever Tree Club Soda. You could also use sparkling water from your own Soda Stream machine.
- Garnish: you can purchase basil leaves or harvest your own in an indoor edible garden. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the lemon peel before juicing citrus.
Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail Tips
This Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello Cocktail recipe is easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 5 minutes.
We love serving our Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini drink during the summer when we have plenty of fresh herbs to pluck from our garden. The fresh citrus flavours and sparkling water muddled into the drink make it a satisfyingly refreshing sip on a hot day. Serve at your next cottage happy hour, summer barbecue or at an Italian themed dinner party.
If you don’t have soda water on hand and enjoy a sweeter sip feel free to replace with tonic water. If you’re celebrating a special occasion feel free to substitute the soda water with prosecco sparkling wine.
This Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello recipe is listed for one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a punch bowl or jug rather than a cocktail shaker.
Serve the drink in a martini or coup cocktail glass.
Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment
Before hosting a swanky Limoncello Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail soiree you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.
- Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
- Cocktail Shaker: a bartender’s best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
- Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
- Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
- Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
- Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
- Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
- Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
- Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
- Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
- Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
- Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
- Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
- Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
- Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
- Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
You May Also Enjoy These Vodka & Gin Cocktail Recipes…
- White Russian Amarula Cocktail
- Mint Chocolate After Eight Cocktail
- Vodka Mojito Cocktail
- Vodka Blood Orange Cocktail
- Vodka and Coke Cocktail
- How To Make A Smirnoff Rocket
- Clarified Gin and Milk Punch Cocktail
- Raspberry Gin Fizz Chambord Cocktail
- Sour Lemon Blueberry Gin Cocktail
- Fresh Mint Lime Cucumber Gin Eastside Cocktail
- Mango Gin Collins Cocktail
- Lavender Gin Cocktail Lemonade Fizz
- Malfy Grapefruit Gin & Rosemary Cocktail
- Moscow Mule with Gin
- Aperol Gin Cocktail
How To Make A Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello Cocktail
Lemon Drop Martini Limoncello Cocktail
- Shot Glass
- vegetable peeler
- Cocktail Shaker
- Martini or Coup Glass
- 1 oz Limoncello
- 1 oz Vodka
- 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
- 1 oz Simple Syrup
- 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 oz Sparkling Water
- Lemon Peel + Basil Leaves garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Pour the limoncello, vodka, orange liqueur, simple syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice into the shaker.
- Shake vigorously until combined and cooled then pour into a cocktail glass. Top with a splash of soda water. Serve garnished with lemon peel and basil leaf.
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