This 3 ingredient Lemon Drop Limoncello Martini recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, with a refreshing kick of vodka and citrus. It’s incredibly easy to make and is sure to be a hit at your next cocktail party or at-home happy hour!
If you’re a fan of limoncello, be sure to check out my other cocktail recipes featuring this delicious liqueur! I have you covered with my Limoncello Spritz, Limoncello Tonic, and Limoncello Sour cocktails. Or, if you just love a good martini, check out this Aperol Vodka Martini or the fruity Peach Martini Bellini.
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy to Make: With just three simple ingredients, this Lemon Drop Martini recipe is incredibly easy to make, even for those who have never mixed a cocktail before.
- Refreshing and Delicious: This cocktail has the perfect blend of sweet and tart flavors from the lemon juice, limoncello, and vodka creating a refreshing and bright cocktail that is perfect for any occasion.
- Impressive and Versatile: Despite its simplicity, this cocktail looks impressive and is versatile enough to be served at a fancy cocktail party or a casual gathering with friends. Plus, you can easily customize it by adding your own twists, such as a splash of cranberry juice or a sprig of rosemary.
- Vodka is the perfect base for a limoncello martini, as it allows the bright and zesty flavors of the limoncello to shine through.
- Limoncello is the star of the show in a Limoncello Martini, as it provides the sweet and tangy lemon flavor that gives the cocktail its signature taste. I find limoncello to be plenty sweet on its own, but if you feel differently, you can add a touch of simple syrup to adjust the cocktail to your preferences.
- Fresh lemon juice is an essential ingredient in a limoncello martini, as it adds a bright, tangy flavor that balances out the sweetness of the limoncello.
- Garnishes, like a lemon twist and sugar rim, give the cocktail an elevated feel. Plus, when you go to sip the cocktail, you get an extra burst of lemon scent and an extra pop of sweetness. I like to roll my lemon peel twists into a rose and pin them with a metal cocktail pick.
Optional pre-step: Run a lemon slice around the rim of the glass and roll the rim in granulated sugar.
Step 1: Add vodka, limoncello, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Add ice and shake until well chilled.
Step 4: Garnish with a lemon twist.
Pro tip: Chill your vodka and limoncello in the fridge or freezer before mixing, as this will help create a perfectly chilled cocktail.
Can you make a big batch of Limoncello Martinis?
Yes, you can make a big batch of Limoncello Martinis to serve at a party or event. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the ice will dilute the cocktail over time, so it’s best to mix the ingredients in a large pitcher or bowl and then serve over ice or in a chilled martini glass to ensure that each drink has the perfect balance of flavors.
Measurements are included in the recipe notes for making a big batch. You can serve with or without sugared rims.
Can I make a big batch ahead of time?
Yes, you can make a batch in advance, but I would avoid adding ice to the pitcher as it will dilute the cocktail. However, you can mix up a pitcher up to 1 day ahead of time and store them in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve. You can also keep a pitcher cold by placing the container in a large bucket of ice cubes.
How do Italians serve limoncello?
Italians traditionally serve limoncello as a digestif after a meal. It is typically served chilled in a small glass or shot glass and sipped slowly to aid in digestion. Some Italians also like to serve limoncello over ice or mixed with sparkling water or with prosecco (like in a Limoncello Tonic or Limoncello Spritz) for a refreshing summer drink. Limoncello can also be used in cooking and baking, such as in cakes or as a glaze for fish or chicken dishes.
What is the history or origin of limoncello?
Originating from Southern Italy, particularly in the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento regions, limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that can be traced back to the early 1900s. It was first created by infusing alcohol with lemon zest from Amalfi lemons and sweetening the mixture with sugar syrup. In modern times, limoncello has become a well-known Italian liqueur that is enjoyed not only as a digestive after meals but also as a popular ingredient in citrusy cocktails.
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Lemon Drop Limoncello Martini Recipe
- Granulated sugar for rim (optional)
- 1 ½ ounces vodka (regular or citron)
- 1 ounce limoncello
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- Lemon twist for garnish (optional)
- Optional pre-step: Run a fresh lemon slice around the rim of a martini glass and roll the rim in granulated sugar.
- Add the vodka, limoncello, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice, then shake until well chilled.
- Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.
- 1 ½ cups vodka (regular or citron)
- 1 cup limoncello
- ½ cup lemon juice
- Lemon twists and/or slices for garnish
- If wanting a colder martini, add ice to the serving glasses or use chilled glasses when pouring the martinis rather than adding ice to the pitcher, which will dilute the cocktail as the ice melts.
- Nestle the pitcher in a large bucket of ice to keep chilled outside.