This Limoncello Martini is zesty, sweet, and refreshing! It’s the perfect go-to cocktail recipe for parties or a night at home.
This post is all about how to make a Limoncello Martini.
If a delicious, ice-cold cocktail is your go-to for celebrating the end of a long week, then this Limoncello Martini, sometimes referred to as a lemon drop, is for you! Its lemony citrus flavor mixed with sweetness and vodka makes for one insanely addicting cocktail that most can’t resist.
One of the best things about this refreshing lemon drink is that there are various ways to enjoy it, depending on how sweet or strong you prefer your cocktails to taste. If you’re a true martini lover, you’ll most likely want this drink served with vodka and limoncello liqueur, shaken with a ton of ice. After taste-testing, if you want more sweetness added, a dash of simple syrup will do the trick!
So, what is limoncello exactly? It’s a sweet Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy. If you enjoyed drinking lemonade as a kid, you won’t mind the sugar, lemons, and water it contains. Oh, but it’s important to note that limoncello is a stiff liqueur, with its alcoholic concentration being around 28%. Hence, a sip of this stuff is almost as strong as vodka, which is about 40%.
I’ll never forget when I was visiting Italy and walked by a specialty food store that was passing out samples of homemade limoncello. I had no idea what it was when I first took a sip, but WOW. I wasn’t expecting the punch of alcohol and its sweet, tangy lemon taste. It was life-changing, unbelievably delicious, and yes, I bought a bottle to take with me!
What’s The Difference Between Lemon Drops And Limoncello Martinis?
They are so close to being the same drink with one minor difference. A lemon drop martini generally does not contain limoncello. Lemon drop recipes call for triple sec instead, with all other ingredients mirroring the limoncello martini.
What Ingredients Are In This Limoncello Martini?
You really only need two ingredients, vodka, and limoncello. However, squeeze a slice of fresh lemon and add some sweet, simple syrup if you wish! I would test the drink before adding a teaspoon of simple syrup because you don’t want it to taste too sweet.
If this drink is too stiff, add ice. Of course, a professional bartender would never serve ice cubes in a martini, but add it to yours if you’d like to dilute the alcohol.
- Limoncello, 1 shot (store the bottle in the freezer for BEST results) – One standard shot in the United States generally equals 1.5 ounces.
- Vodka, 2 shots (store the bottle in the freezer for BEST results) – Two standard shots equals 3 ounces.
- Fresh Lemon slices (optional) – One slice squeezed in per drink.
- Ice – This drink tastes best ice-cold, so be sure it’s shaken with lots of ice.
- Simple Syrup (optional) – Add 1 to 2 teaspoons to each martini if you want it to taste sweeter. I did not think it needed to be sweeter, but everyone’s taste buds differ.
Where Can I Buy The Best Limoncello?
According to the experts, the best limoncello to use when making cocktails is Pallini. You can purchase this at BevMo! or Total Wines for around $25. I personally used a bottle of limoncello by Caravella and thought it was insanely delicious. You can buy it at most grocery stores, including Target, and it just happens to be slightly cheaper.
Equipment Needed For This Limoncello Vodka Cocktail:
- Shot Glass – this shot glass measures ounces and teaspoons.
How To Make A Limoncello Martini, Step-By-Step
Step 1: One of the most crucial steps to any martini recipe is chilling your glasses in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes! Remove the glasses from the freezer right before you’re ready to pour.
Also, earlier I mentioned for the BEST results, store your vodka and limoncello bottles in the freezer. This ensures an extra artic chill for a crisp martini. Also, the vodka and limoncello have enough alcoholic contents making it impossible for the liquids to freeze.
Pro Cocktail Tips: No one wants to drink a warm martini, like ever.
Step 2: Add ice to the martini/cocktail shaker, about 2/3 of the way.
Step 3: Next, add the vodka and limoncello, and squeeze one slice of a lemon into the shaker. The slice of lemon is optional, but it does add a fresh citrus taste. Shake vigorously over the sink since sometimes shakers leak a bit.
Step 4: Taste test the drink first to see if you’d like to add one or two teaspoons of simple syrup. If so, add in the syrup and shake again before pouring the liquid contents into your chilled cocktail or martini glass.
Step 5: If time permits and you’re in no hurry, put the drink back in the freezer for an additional five minutes, or enjoy it right away!
Tips For Serving This Limoncello Martini
- Martini Lovers: If you’re used to drinking martinis, you may want to skip adding the simple syrup. In that case, just add vodka and limoncello to the shaker and the optional juice from the squeezed lemon slice. Shake and serve.
- Sweet Cocktail Lovers: If you enjoy a drink on the sweeter side, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of simple syrup per drink. Taste test to be sure first before adding it, then shake, serve, and enjoy.
- Light-weight Cocktail Lovers: All martinis are strong, and this one is no exception. Add 2 to 3 ice cubes to your limoncello martini to dilute the alcohol taste. I actually prefer it this way because then it’s icy cold!
FAQs For Limoncello Vodka Martinis
What’s in a limoncello martini drink?
This cocktail primarily includes two ingredients, vodka, and limoncello. You may also want to add fresh lemon juice and simple syrup if that’s available.
Can you use limoncello in a lemon drop martini?
Traditionally, a lemon drop martini includes vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup. However, I don’t think it would hurt the drink if you wanted to add limoncello.
What is the best way to drink limoncello?
In Italy, some serve it as an after-dinner drink. It tastes delicious on its own but be sure to serve it ice cold!
Any tips on how I can store and freeze limoncello?
It’s best to keep limoncello chilled at all times. Some store it in the refrigerator, while some keep it in the freezer to ensure a glass of icy cold limoncello at a moment’s notice.
How many calories are in a limoncello martini?
There are about 340 calories in this cocktail. Most cocktails are high in calories, and sugar, so always keep that in mind.
How do you make homemade simple syrup for cocktails?
Simple syrup is made with water and sugar, and making the homemade stuff is so easy! Just add water and white granulated sugar to a saucepan and heat it over low-medium heat until the sugar dissolves. For more details, click here.
Can you make a lemon drop or limoncello martini in advance?
Yes! Combine the vodka, limoncello, and other ingredients and refrigerate until you’re ready to shake the cocktail and pour. Do not shake the drink with ice until you’re ready to serve.
When can I serve this limoncello martini?
How do you make homemade limoncello?
If you prefer to make homemade limoncello for your martini, check out this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.
What will I love about this recipe?
Limoncello martinis are refreshing, boozy, zesty, and lemony! What more could you want for a cocktail?!
More Lemony Limoncello Cocktail Variations:
Limoncello Martini With Gin
Use gin instead of vodka to get this variation.
Creamy Limoncello Martini
Follow this recipe but add 1.5 ounces (1 shot) of heavy whipping cream to your shaker.
Raspberry Limoncello Martini
Add 1.5 ounces (1 shot) of raspberry juice to this recipe to achieve this variation. Fresh raspberries are easy to crush and strain.
Limoncello Martini With Triple Sec, AKA Lemon Drop Martini
Follow this recipe but add 1 ounce of triple sec to your shaker.
- 1 Martini/Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Shot Glass
- 1 Martini Glass
Ingredients For One Limoncello Martini
- 1.5 ounces Limoncello – 1.5 ounces equals one standard shot in the USA.
- 3 ounces Vodka – 3 ounces equals two standard shots in the USA.
- 1 lemon slice, squeezed in per martini. (optional)
- Ice – Lots of ice.
- 1 tsp Simple Syrup (optional) – Add 1 teaspoon to each martini if you want it to taste sweeter. I did not think it needed to be sweeter, but everyone’s taste buds differ.
How To Make A Limoncello Martini, Step-By-Step
- One of the most crucial steps to any martini recipe is chilling your glasses in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes! Remove the glasses from the freezer right before you’re ready to pour.
- Add ice to the martini/cocktail shaker, about 2/3 of the way.
- Next, add the vodka and limoncello, and squeeze one slice of a lemon into the shaker. The slice of lemon is optional, but it does add a fresh citrus taste. Shake vigorously over the sink since sometimes shakers leak a bit.
- Taste test the drink first to see if you’d like to add one or two teaspoons of simple syrup. If so, add in the syrup and shake again before pouring the liquid contents into your chilled cocktail or martini glass.
- If time permits put the drink back in the freezer for an additional five minutes, or enjoy it right away!
Final Thoughts On Limoncello Martinis
I don’t think you could ever go wrong with serving Limoncello Martinis! They’re so delicious, refreshing, and sweet. If you LOVED this recipe, please share it with your friends and family on social media.
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