My sister turned me onto lemon drop martinis, they have been a favorite of hers for some time and then because of my love of lemon, I jumped on the bandwagon. We now try them almost anywhere we go out for dinner. It turns out almost every establishment has their own special take on them, some good, some bad and some excellent. Some add an orange liqueur, not my favorite and some don’t add enough simple syrup or fresh lemon juice. The key is fresh lemon juice, I was once served a lemon drop made with lime cordial, are you kidding me!! Another must for us is the sugared rim, and I have learned to ask for this when I order because not all bartenders sugar the rim of the glass. I prefer superfine sugar or berry sugar for rimming the glass, but you can use sugar in the raw(that crunchy brown sugar) or just regular granulated sugar. Meyer lemons would be a nice substitute for regular lemons.
Here is my recipe for a tangy but sweet lemon drop martini, YUM!
Serves: one martini
1 1/2 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces of good vodka
1 1/2 ounces of simple syrup- HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP: 1 cup of sugar plus 1 cup of water. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes, without stirring*. Let cool to room temperature before using. This syrup mixture will keep for several weeks in a cool place, I store it in my refrigerator.
*I try to stir it very little because if crystals of sugar creep up the sides of the pot, while the mixture is boiling, there is a chance the whole pot will crystallize into one solid mass. Stir it initially to help dissolve the sugar but only stir before it comes up to a boil, then just leave it alone to come to a boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and cool and store in the refrigerator.
Superfine sugar(called berry sugar in our Canadian stores) or whatever sugar you have on hand to sugar the rim. You will need a lemon wedge to wet the edge of the glass, before you rim the glass with sugar. Lemon works because the sugar sticks to it, water will just dry up and the sugar will fall off the glass.
Lots of Ice cubes
Lemon twist garnish-How to Make a Lemon or Lime Twist
Firstly, if you like, coat the rim of the martini glasses with sugar, by lightly rubbing the edges of the glasses with a lemon wedge and then dipping them into the superfine sugar. Pour about 1/2 cup of sugar on a plate that is big enough to fit the entire circumference of the top edges of the glass.
Using a cocktail shaker, mix together the vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice cubes. Shake vertically and strain into martini glass. You can always adjust the vodka, simple syrup and lemon juice. My recipe makes the martini quite tangy because I like lemon juice, you can add less if you like. Garnish with a lemon twist.