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Lemon Drop Cocktail


A lemon drop cocktail. A mixed-base cocktail that has a lemony, sweet, and sour flavor. Prepared using lemon juice, triple sec liqueur, and simple syrup. The drink has been described as a variant of the Vodka Martini.

Lemon Drop Cocktail History

Legend has it that the Lemon Drop was invented at San Francisco's Henry Africa in the 1970s. It was the first fern bar in the country. A fern bar is a singles joint decorated with plants.

This was in the midst of the sexual revolution when single women went to bars alone for the first time. In order to attract more women customers, dessert drinks were invented. Frilly libations like the Harvey Wallbanger and Mudslide were a huge hit. The bar was a hit with both men and women.

Dale DeGroff (aka King Cocktail), the legendary bartender who pioneered modern mixology since the 80s confirmed that the Lemon Drop cocktail was created at Henry Africa's. However, he didn't know who created it. He made an insightful observation. "Cheryl Cook was the woman who created the Cosmopolitan's original recipe for Rose's lime juice, triple sec and triple sec. She claimed that it was an Absolut Citron version of the Lemon Drop." In a way, the Lemon Drop cocktail could have been the spark that ignited the entire cocktail revival!

There are many references to classic cocktails in literature, including the Bronx cocktail from The Great Gatsby and the Brandy Alexander from Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf. Could there be clues to the Lemon Drop's origins? Other than the Gimlet from Raymond Chandler's 1953 novel The Long Goodbye, The following books mention the cocktail, with a female character ordering or drinking one: This Fire Down In My Soul, Death Taxes and Peach Sangria; Must Love Dogs Fetch You Later; and Her One Night Prince. Unfortunately, the Lemon Drop didn't have the same literary appeal as other drinks, but it's still a drink every bartender knows of.

Lemon Drop

Described as a variant of the Vodka Martini.

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5 from 2 votes
Course: Cocktail, Drink
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Mix Time: 1 minute
Servings: 1 Serving(s)


  • 30 ml Lemon Vodka
  • 20 ml Orange Liqueur
  • 15 ml Lemon Juice


  • Put every ingredient into a shaker.
  • Add ice and shake the drink cold!
  • Serve!

Video Instructions

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
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