Easy 3 ingredient Lemon Drop Martini (Limoncello Recipe)

This 3 Ingredient Lemon Drop Martini is a quicker version of the traditional lemon drop recipe but full of the same delicious flavor of the original.

A lemon drop martini with a cocktail shaker and Limoncello, on a diamond pattern tray.

Today, I will show you how to make an easy 3 Ingredient Lemon Drop Martini using simple, easy-to-find items.

Many thanks to the talented Jennifer Koehl for all of her inspiring recipes & ideas!

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

The lemon drop is the quintessential summer cocktail! It’s so fresh and inviting and a perfect way to welcome guests to your home.

Your tasty cocktail will be ready to enjoy in minutes using just a few basic ingredients.

Cindy Munson, the publisher at Bloom, toasting with a lemon drop martini. Get the recipe here!
T-shirt courtesy of my husband, a huge fan. Dylan t-shirt (affiliate link)

What is a Lemon Drop?

A classic lemon drop martini recipe is typically made with vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, and sugar. Sometimes, Cointreau and maybe simple syrup.

It is a sweet and tangy drink that is perfect for any occasion. Whether hosting a party or enjoying a night with friends, the lemon drop martini is a wonderful choice.

Today’s version is quicker, though. Never fear; it comes together fast yet retains its delicious flavor! You may never return to the laborious from scratch method.

Another festive drink to try is this Strawberry Gin Cocktail. It’s so incredibly tasty.

Ingredients in a Lemon Martini

Below are the simple ingredients in a lemon drop martini for this shortcut recipe.


The quality of the vodka you use will influence the drink’s overall taste, so choosing a high-quality brand is essential.

I am using Ketel One Vodka, which lends a smooth, long finish. It is a good pick for home bartending, as it plays well with other cocktail ingredients and stands up well when drinking alone.


This Italian lemon liqueur. is often enjoyed in Italy as an aperitif, before a meal, or as a digestif after dinner.

I used Knight Gabriello Limoncello, which has a bright, fragrant lemon taste. Many good options exist, so use any brand you prefer or ask for suggestions at your local liquor store.

Fresh Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is essential, and nothing is better than freshly squeezed!

Garnishes, optional

Add a plain or flavored sugar rim to your glass. Use delicate or coarse sugar alone or mix 50/50 with grated lemon rind or flavored sugar.

Add a lemon wheel or twist to beautify and elevate your drink for the finale!

How to Make Lemon Drop Martini

Below are the simple steps to make your drink.

1 Mies Enplasse

Pull out your trusty drink-making equipment. You’ll need
Coupe or martini glasses (or favorite vessel), a shaker, a strainer, and good-quality ice cubes!

2 Sugar the Rim of the Glass

Wet the glass rim with a lemon wedge and dip it into a fine, coarse, or flavored sugar plate.

3 Chill Out

This martini should be served very cold. If you like, you can put your Limoncello in the freezer a few hours before your event. You can also pop the glasses in there to help them chill.

4 Mix it Up

Now the fun starts! Add your ice, vodka, Limoncello, and lemon juice to your cocktail shaker (affiliate link). Shake it up, baby.

5 Drink Up

Strain into glass. Garnish with a lemon slice or twist. Then, serve and enjoy this tasty refresher.

How to Rim a Cocktail Glass with Sugar

A sugar rim is a lovely garnish for a lemon drop martini. It provides a sweet contrast to the sourness of the drink and adds a decorative touch.

To create a sugar rim, wet the glass rim with a lemon wedge and dip it into a plate of sugar. A coarse sugar, such as turbinado or demerara, works best as it provides a crunchy texture.

Another option is mixing half sugar and half lemon rind or colored sugar to add flavor and color.

How to Make a Lemon Twist

A lemon twist is a thin strip of lemon peel twisted over the drink to release the oils from the peel. It provides a fresh lemon aroma and enhances the drink’s flavor.

A fresh lemon twist peel rather than a store-bought garnish is essential, as it has a more intense flavor.

To create one, slice a lemon crosswise at the broadest part of the lemon. Make it about 1/4 inch wide.

Then, make a slit on one side of the round. Cut the fleshy pulp out of the center of the peel along the middle of the pith (the white part). Now you have one long thin strip of peel.

Twist it around a straw or chopstick to shape it. The warmth of your hands will help mold it.

Position on the rim of your martini. Wa-La fancy pants!

How to Make a Lemon Wheel

You can also make a simple lemon slice or half slice to hand from the rim of your martini.

To do this, simply cut a 1/4-inch wide slice of your lemon. Keep whole or cut in half crosswise. Then, make a slit to slide onto the rim.

Tips for a Perfect Lemon Drop Martini

Making a delicious martini is easy and fun. Follow these simple tips to create the best lemon drop!

Use Fresh Lemon Juice

For the best flavor, fresh is best.

Keep it Cold

Chill your vodka and glasses in the freezer. Frosty cold temps are key to the success of your drink!

Use High-Quality Vodka

The quality of the vodka you use will significantly influence the overall flavor of your martini.

Add a Sugar Rim

Coat the rim with (pretty!) flavored sugar to add a little pizzazz, fun, and flavor.

Don’t Over-Shake

Overshaking can cause the martini to become diluted and watery. Instead, shake your cocktail until the shaker is frosty and cold, then strain it into your glass.

Garnish as Desired

Add a twist of lemon or a lemon slice to finish with style.

2 martini glasses with a cocktail shaker and Limoncello on a diamond pattern tray.

Best Glasses for a Lemon Drop Martini

The right glass can elevate your drinking experience, enhance the look, and let you fully appreciate the cocktail’s flavors and fragrances.

Experiment with different glassware to find your favorites.

Here are some options to enjoy this lemony drink. Affiliate links included.

Martini Glass

The classic martini glass is a popular option for many cocktails. Its distinctive shape, with a wide, shallow bowl and a long stem, looks elegant and keeps the cocktail cool. Here’s a traditional martini glass, a unique martini glass, and a z-stem glass.

Coupe Glass

The coupe glass is a popular option for classic cocktails like this martini. Its elegant appearance and broad, shallow shape make it easy to hold and sip from. Here are some fun vintage coupe glass styles.

Double Old Fashioned Glass

This less formal casual glass is commonly associated with whiskey and other spirit-forward drinks. However, it can also be an excellent choice for a martini. Its wider, shorter form makes it easy to hold and sip from, and the thick glass helps to keep your drink cold.

Highball Glass or Collins Glass

The highball glass is a tall, narrow glass typically used for cocktails served over ice. While it’s not the most traditional choice for a martini, it can still be a great option.

Stemless Wine Glass

A stemless wine glass can be an excellent option for a casual sip. The wider bowl helps to keep the drink cool.

Below is the recipe. With some practice, you’ll be a martini pro in no time!

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A lemon drop martini on a diamond pattern tray.

3 Ingredient Lemon Drop Martini

  • Author: Cindy Munson
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


A Lemon Drop Martini is the perfect summer cocktail. This 3 Ingredient recipe is quicker and easier than the original but just as delicious!



4 ounces limoncello

2 ounces vodka (I used Ketel One)

1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)


  1. Prepare a light layer of sugar on a plate and set aside. Chill your vodka and martini glasses.
  2. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and run a slice of lemon around the glass rims to wet. Dip the glasses into the sugar. Shake off excess.
  3. Add limoncello, vodka, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and ice to a cocktail shaker.
  4. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds until the shaker becomes frosty and icy cold.
  5. Holding the shaker over the glass, strain to catch any ice as you pour the drink into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
  6. Garnish with a twist or slice of lemon, and serve!


Ice and Garnish. To make it cold and pretty, grab some ice, ΒΌ cup of sugar for glass rim, and lemon slices for garnish. (optional)

Equipment List. These items are optional but very helpful to have on hand; a Cocktail Shaker, aΒ Lemon Zester, and a Citrus Zester Grater. (affiliiate links)

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon drop, martini, cocktail, vodka, drinks, limoncello

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Nutrition Label. The nutritional values listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card. Actual amounts may vary.

Simple Lemon Drop Tweaks

Below are easy flavor additions to try in this lemony cocktail recipe.

Spicy Lemon Drop Martini
For a spicy lemon drop, simply add a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the traditional recipe to add some heat.

Cucumber Lemon Drop Martini
If you like a cucumber flavor, muddle a few slices of cucumber in the shaker before adding the other ingredients to add a refreshing twist.

Strawberry Lemon Drop Martini
Add a splash of strawberry liqueur to your recipe for strawberry lovers to give it a fruity twist.

Ginger Lemon Drop Martini
To enjoy a unique martini flavor, add a splash of ginger liqueur or muddle a small piece of fresh ginger in the shaker for a spicy kick.

Blood Orange Lemon Drop Martini
For a tasty alternative, substitute blood orange juice for the lemon juice in this recipe to add a citrusy twist. Or try a touch of orange liqueur.

Lemon Drop Recipe Variations

The recipes below are even further departures from this 3 ingredient lemon drop.

They have more steps, more ingredients, and are made from scratch. But they are surely worth the effort!

Click the name of the drink to grab the recipe.


Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini
A lovely blueberry option that contains fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, vodka, and sugar to garnish.

Strawberry Lemon Drop Martini
This summer special calls for strawberries, water, lemon juice, simple syrup, lemon vodka, and granulated sugar for garnish.

Raspberry Lemon Drop Martinis
This pretty drink includes fresh raspberries, granulated sugar, red berry-flavored vodka, lemon-lime soda, fresh lemon juice, plus lemon slices for garnish.

Blackberry Lemon Drop Martini
This colorful martini vodka calls for freshly squeezed lemon juice, blackberry syrup, fresh blackberries, granulated sugar, water, ice, and a lemon twist or blackberry for optional garnishes.

Pomegranate Lemon Drop Martini
This flavorful drink includes ice, sugar, citron vodka, pomegranate liquor, freshly squeezed lemon juice, pure pomegranate juice, pure maple syrup, dark or amber or agave nectar, plus pomegranate arils for garnish.

Lavender Flavors

Lavender Lemon Drop Martini
This beauty has vodka, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and lavender syrup.

Pear Lavender Lemon Martini Recipe
This sophisticated cocktail contains pear vodka, lemon juice, triple sec, lavender vanilla sugar, and a lemon peel or lemon slice for garnish.

Dessert Worthy

Lemon Cupcake Martini
Oh my! Lemon Pie Martini has lemon cheesecake liquor, white chocolate liqueur, and crushed graham crackers for garnish. Yes, please!

Health Conscious

Keto Lemon Drop Martini
This healthier martini alternative calls for vodka, fresh lemon juice, powdered Monkfruit Sweetener, ice cubes, and sparkling water.

When to Serve a Lemon Drop Martini

A lemon drop martini is a versatile cocktail that is perfect for a variety of events. Serve a lemon drop martini at your next celebration, and watch it become an instant hit!

Below are some suggestions for occasions to serve this refreshing cocktail.


For your next party, a lemon drop martini is a terrific pick! It is easy to make, and your guests will love it.

Serve it in a cocktail glass with a sugar rim for a touch of elegance. You can also add a slice of lemon or a sprig of fresh mint for a pop of color.

At a Wedding

A lemon drop martini is a perfect selection for a wedding reception. It is a light, refreshing cocktail that will surely be a hit with your guests.

Serve it during the cocktail hour or as a signature drink. Customize it to match your wedding colors by adding food coloring to the rim mixture.

Bridal Shower

Serve these martinis at a wedding shower with appetizers.

Then, create a DIY cocktail gift set in a jar for party favors or parting gifts for guests. See this post to learn how! I’ve included a variety of lemon drop martini recipes there and below as well.


This cocktail makes a perfect complement to your brunch menu.

You can serve it in a champagne flute or ice glass. You can also add a splash of sparkling water or soda for a bubbly twist.

At Girls’ Night In

For a girls’ night, a lemon martini cocktail is perfect for sipping and chatting with your girlfriends.

Serve it in a cute cocktail glass with a colorful sugar rim. Then, add a few drops of food coloring to make it more festive.

Dinner Party

Serve this martini at your next dinner party. It’s perfect for enjoying before or after a meal.

Serve it in a martini glass for an elegant touch. You can also garnish it with a lemon twist or a sprig of fresh mint.

Serve this delicious easy lemon blueberry cookies recipe for dessert.

At a Beach Party

A lemon drop martini is the ultimate beach party cocktail to refresh and cool off on a hot day.

Serve it in a plastic cup with ice or a coconut shell for a tropical twist. Garnish it with a slice of pineapple or a sprig of fresh mint.

Now, you can confidently create a perfect Lemon Drop Martini at home. Let me know when you do. Cheers!

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