You all know I love lavender and use it often and after tasting a lavender lemon drop martini while out one night, I knew I had to make it. My version is easy, delicious, sweet, tart and strong. AND it has a homemade lavender lemon cocktail sugar rim to give it extra amazing flavor. Try it and I promise you'll thank me later!
I love how versatile this cocktail is. A lavender lemon drop looks elegant enough for the fanciest of evenings and has flavors that everyone loves. It is perfect for a bridal shower, wedding cocktail, New Years eve or just a girls night out (or in). Lavender has a wonderful herbal quality the helps it not taste overly floral. In fact it works deliciously in both sweet and savory recipes.
This was inspired by the popularity of my Lavender French 75 and the fresh and fabulous Homemade Margaritas. I love serving these with little nibbles and appetizers like Warm Marinated Olives, Salmon Crudo, and Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Dip with sea salt kettle chips. Yum, right?!
This tart vodka based lavender drink recipe is quick and easy with just a few ingredients and a cocktail shaker. Additionally, lavender lemon drop martinis can be made even faster by mixing ahead of time and storing in the fridge until ready to pour and serve.
- Lavender syrup - Although I've shown a bottle of premade lavender syrup, I recommend making your own whenever possible. It is infinitely better tasting, far less expensive and really easy. Find my lavender simple syrup recipe here, (it's just lavender with equal parts sugar and water).
- Lemon juice and zest - I'm a huge fan of fresh squeezed lemon juice. You can use bottled lemon juice but...in a cocktail with so few ingredients, spend the $1.29 and buy a real lemon. If you've bought real lemon, zest it first for the lavender lemon cocktail rim before squeezing fresh lemon juice for the martini. Additionally, since we are using the zest of the lemon (the outer skin), using organic lemons is a good idea.
- Vodka - Your favorite, neutral flavored vodka is perfect but...if you want to amp up the lemon, the wonderful essence of a lemon flavored vodka is really tasty too.
- Good ice - This drink is served chilled straight up but having large, solid ice cubes for shaking makes a crisp drink that doesn't get too watered down.
See recipe card for quantities.
Make the lemon lavender sugar and rim each martini or coupe glass with it before you mix up the lavender lemon drop martini cocktails so they stay as cold and fresh as can be.
Zest lemon and pick buds off lavender sprigs if using fresh, then place all three ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Blitz for 20-30 seconds until lemon, lavender and sugar is well blended together.
To achieve a cocktail rim, place lavender lemon cocktail sugar on a plate that is just a little wider than the rims on your glasses.
Cut a wedge of lemon, then make a cut in the middle of the flesh crosswise through to the skin with out cutting it in half.
Run the cut middle around the rim of each martini glass (that will make the sugar mixture stick), then press the rim into a plate full of lavender lemon sugar to coat.
Juice your lemon and measure the ingredients. Fill a cocktail shaker ¾ full with large ice.
Add lemon juice, lavender simple syrup, orange liqueur and vodka. Cover top of shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Strain into prepared martini glasses or coupes.
Have fun garnishing your drinks! A lemon wheel is classic.
And a sprig of lavender is both romantic and fragrant. Serve right away and enjoy!
Hint: Spread lavender lemon sugar rimmer on a plate to use right away or let it dry on a tray for a couple hours before storing in an airtight container until ready to use.
Limoncello makes a great lavender lemon martini too. Swap out the lemon juice and vodka for limoncello and add the lavender simple syrup. Give it a good shake with lots of ice in a cocktail shaker and pour your lavender limoncello martini into prepared glasses. This version will end up a little sweeter so keep that in mind if you are deciding whether to use this or not.
Raspberry or Blackberry Lemon Drop Martini. Simply swap out the lavender simple syrup for any other fruity flavored simple syrup for your own variation of a lemon drop martini!
While there aren't many substitutions you can make in cocktail so simple, there are some fun variations!
- Lavender Lemon Shooter - Despite the sweet and delicious flavors, this drink packs a punch. If you want to make fun shooters for a party, this recipe is awesome and has about 20%+ abv. Simply line up the shot glasses and pour your high proof cocktail in! For extra wow factor, dip citrus juiced edges of shooter glasses in the lavender lemon sugar before pouring and serving.
- Lavender Lemon Gin And Tonic - Swap vodka for gin when mixing the lemon drops. Fill tall glasses with ice. Add half lavender lemon drop cocktail mix and half tonic. Garnish with a wedge of lemon and enjoy on a hot day.
- Lavender Lemon Mocktail - For the designated drivers, kids and anyone who doesn't want the alcohol, simply mix the lavender syrup and lemon juice together and mix with soda water. Don't forget the garnishes of lemon wheels and lavender sprigs to keep the mocktails extra special!
A plain old citrus juicer, a shot sized measure and a cocktail shaker are ideal for this recipe. Of course you can make do with household items if needed but I think investing in a few key pieces of barware goes a long way to enjoying mixing up cocktails for family and friends.
These items are not very expensive and can be found in most kitchen shops and retail stores. In my own shop, I carry some beautiful hammered silver barware along with gold and silver Japanese bar spoons, bottle openers and more. Haunting thrift shops to find vintage pieces is fun too!
Barware Kitchen Hacks
If you don't have the gear, you can still have a fantastic cocktail, you just might not look quite as cool making it 😉
- Using a fork agitated into a halved lemon will juice it just fine if you don't have a juicer or press.
- A measuring cup that measures ounces will work instead of a cocktail jigger.
- Mason jars are magic. A wide mouth mason jar or blender bottle works great in place of a cocktail shaker.
Any leftover lemon lavender cocktail can be stored in a covered glass, bottle or other container and refrigerated for up to a week. When ready to serve, simply shake it up again over ice and strain into your glass.
I don't recommend freezing this. The fresh hint of lavender and bright citrus will fade as this sits. Fresh is best.
The lavender lemon sugar rimmer can be made far ahead. If you make this to ahead, be sure to dry it out well on a tray before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. If it does harden in to a lump when you need to use it, simply bang it with the back of a mug or pop it back in the food processor to granulate the sugar again.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, a cold cocktail is a good cocktail. Freeze your ice in large cube trays. Large cubes stay colder longer with less ice melt. Prechill those glasses and you can even keep your ingredients chilled. Vodka and orange liqueur in the freezer, simple syrup and lemon in the fridge. And a bonus tip, make your own lavender simple syrup, it is indescribably better than store bought.
Cheers to you all! I'd love you to hit that star rating if you try this, to let me know how much you like it and even more, tag me on Instagram if you make it and post it!!!
Lavender Lemon Drop Martini Recipe
Lavender Lemon Drop Martini
- 3 oz Lemon Juice
- 1.5 oz Lavender Simple Syrup
- 2 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec etc)
- 4 oz Vodka
- Ice Cubes, enough to fill cocktail shaker
- Lemon wheels or wedges or lavender sprigs for garnish
Lavender Lemon Sugar Cocktail Rimmer
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
- 1 tablespoon Culinary Lavender Buds Fresh or dried both work
- ½ c Granulated Sugar
Lavender Lemon Drop Martini
- Place lavender lemon cocktail sugar in a plate that is just a little wider than the rims on your glasses. Cut a wedge of lemon, then make a cut in the middle of the flesh crosswise through to the skin with out cutting it in half. Run the cut middle around the rim of each martini glass, then press the rim into a plate full of lavender lemon sugar to coat the rim.Prepare chilled martini or coupe glasses with citrus juice along the rim then dip in lavender lemon sugar mixture.
- Fill a cocktail shaker ¾ full with large ice. Add lemon juice, lavender simple syrup, orange liqueur and vodka. Cover top of shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain into prepared martini glasses or coupes and garnish each with a lemon wheel or lavender sprig and serve right away.
Lavender Lemon Sugar Cocktail Rimmer
- Place all three ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz for 20-30 seconds until they are well incorporated together. Spread on a plate to use right away or let dry on a tray for a couple hours before storing in an airtight container until ready to use.