The Most Refreshing Lemon Drop Martini

I will admit it, I’m a lemon drop martini snob. If I am served a lemon drop that is not icy cold or is too sweet, I probably won’t come back to your bar or at least not order another mixed drink. I know, sounds harsh, but I would prefer to just make my own cocktails at home and stick to wine and beer when I’m out if the cocktails are not made with an attention to detail.

I know I’ve mentioned in other cocktail posts about how little things matter when it comes to mixing the perfect drink at home. That’s especially true for The Best Mojito and The World’s Best Cosmopolitan Cocktail. These are the kinds of things a busy bartender might not have time to do or does not have access to at his bar.

One of the ingredients I use in my lemon drop martinis is this ultrafine pure cane sugar. It’s in the baking aisle of the market in what looks like a milk carton. It is not the same as the pourable superfine sugar, it has to be ultra. The ultrafine sugar, sugars the rim of the glass perfectly, with a nice thin layer of sweetness. You don’t want this sugared edge to be thick and gritty. Also a thinly, rimmed martini glass is also a must.

Fresh lemons are a key ingredient in this drink (obviously) and one thing I cannot live without in my kitchen is my citrus press. It squeezes your lemons and limes to almost dry. It’s not even possible to get as much juice out when you squeeze with your hands. Even the driest lemon or lime will yield lots of juice with this press. And it lasts for years and years. You have to have one.


  • juice of one 5-6 oz lemon, plus more for glass rim*
  • 2.5 oz top shelf vodka such as Tito's
  • 1 Tablespoon, more for rim ultrafine baker's sugar
  • finely crushed ice
  • sliced lemon round for garnish


  1. To sugar the rim of the martini glass, squeeze your extra lemon into a flat bottomed bowl and dip the rim of the glass into the bowl to coat the outside edges of the glass. Holding the glass upside down, sprinkle ultrafine sugar onto the outside edge of the glass rim.
  2. Using a citrus press, squeeze the juice out of a 5-6 oz lemon into a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and sugar and fill halfway with large ice cubes. Close and shake vigorously for at least 40 shakes to dissolve sugar (wrap a towel around the shaker as it will get very cold to hold on to). Strain into a martini glass and scoop in finely crushed ice to float on the top. Add a thinly sliced lemon round to float on the top.
  3. ...........................................

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