Lemon Drop Shot

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Pucker up! You only need a few ingredients to make a Lemon Drop Shot. With its refreshing citrus flavor, this recipe packs a punch in both tartness and sweetness.  This drink is sure to elevate your cocktail game and be a hit at your next party. 

lemon drop shots in glass.

We’re back at my home bar today shaking up another shot recipe. Over the years I’ve shared a few shot recipes on Inspired by Charm and today I’m adding another to the list with this Lemon Drop Shot. 

Over the years, I’ve dabbled, experimented, and immersed myself in the world of cocktails and shot-making. From classic concoctions to trendy tipples, I’ve shaken and stirred my way through countless recipes, always on the hunt for that perfect blend of flavors. This Lemon Drop Shot? It’s no random pick from the bunch. It’s the product of several taste tests, tweaks, and refinements. When I recommend a recipe, know that it comes with the backing of ample experience and a genuine passion for getting it just right. So when you’re following along with one of my concoctions, you’re tapping into a well-curated collection of cocktail excellence. Cheers to making memories with the finest drinks in hand!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This is a classic shot recipe that most everyone enjoys. The flavor is bright, zesty, and just the right amount of sweet.It’s an easy drink that tends to be a crowd pleaser.
  • It’s really simple to make. With just three core ingredients, you can whip up a batch of these shots in no time. Perfect for impromptu gatherings or when you just want a quick cocktail fix.
  • You can make these in advance. Whip up a big batch, leave it in the refrigerator, and you’ll be ready to pour when you’re ready.
  • These lemon drop shots are perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue, a cozy winter gathering, or just enjoying a chill evening with friends, these shots fit right in.

If you enjoy a lemon drop martini (or even a blueberry lemon drop martini), you’re going to love this recipe too!

I think this is a really easy, fun, and approachable shot that most people will tend to like (if not love). Don’t believe me? Give it a try at your next party and let me know how it goes. 

lemon drop shots in glass.

Ingredients

What are lemon drop shots made of? You only need three things to make a lemon drop shot.

1. Vodka – It’s your choice here. My preference is Grey Goose, but you can use whatever you enjoy. A citron vodka would work really nice here as well. 

2. Lemons (juice and wedges)  – Always, always, always use freshly squeezed lemons; it makes all the difference in flavor. You’ll also need some small lemon slices for garnishing.

3. Sugar (granulated and simple syrup) – The granulated sugar adds sweetness to your lemon garnish and the simple syrup adds sweetness to the shot. 

You’re also going to need some shot glasses.

lemon drop shots in glass.

How to Make

Let me walk you through the recipe here. For your convenience, I’ve provided a detailed ingredients list and instructions in the printable recipe card below. 

  1. Begin by preparing your garnish. Dip both sides of a quartered lemon slice into sugar. Set aside. 
  2. To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. 
  3. Shake vigorously. 
pouring lemon drop shot into glass.
  1. Strain into a shot glass. 
  2. Garnish with sugared lemon.

To enjoy, drink the shot first, then suck on the lemon slice. 

Make It for a Crowd

You can easily adapt this single shot recipe for a crowd. Here’s how to create lemon drop shots to serve 8.

  • 8 lemon wedge dipped in sugar
  • 1 cup chilled vodka
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Combine vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill. Pour into eight shot glasses and garnish with sugared lemon wedge.

hand holding lemon drop shot.

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Recipe Notes

  • Be sure to use fresh ingredients. Squeeze the lemon juice yourself and use high-quality vodka for the best flavor.
  • Another important factor is the balance of sweetness and sourness. Don’t be afraid to adjust the measurements of the simple syrup and lemon juice to find the perfect balance for your taste buds.
  • For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding a splash of orange liqueur. This will add a subtle hint of citrus and sweetness that complements the lemon perfectly.
  • Don’t forget to chill your shots before serving. Whether you opt for chilling the glasses beforehand or serving over ice, a cold shot enhances the experience.

Food Pairings

When it comes to enjoying your Lemon Drop Shot, pairing it with the right nibbles can elevate the entire experience. Here are some delightful pairings that harmonize beautifully with the zesty and sweet profile of the shot:

  • Antipasto Skewers: These antipasto skewers, packed with an array of flavors from olives, cheeses, and cured meats, create a wonderful dance of savory and briney flavors against the Lemon Drop’s sweetness.
  • Parmesan Garlic Roasted Shrimp: The rich umami taste from the parmesan and the aromatic allure of garlic in these shrimps are just the match for the citrusy notes of the shot. It’s a pairing that screams sophistication.
  • Whipped Honey Goat Cheese Spread: The tangy creaminess of goat cheese, combined with the sweetness of honey, complements the Lemon Drop Shot beautifully. It’s like a symphony of harmonious flavors with every bite and sip.
  • Heirloom Tomato Galette: The subtle sweetness of heirloom tomatoes encased in a buttery crust provides a rustic and savory touch that pairs effortlessly with the shot’s citrus profile.
  • Delicious Dips: Whether it’s a creamy vegetable dip, a mango salsa, or a classic BLT dip from this delicious and easy collection, dips offer a variety of flavors that can stand up to and shine alongside a Lemon Drop Shot. Explore the collection and pick your favorite for the ultimate dipping and sipping experience.
  • Olives and Almonds: A simple platter of mixed olives and roasted almonds offers both brininess and crunch, complementing the sweet-tart profile of the shot.
  • Lemon-Themed Desserts: To keep the citrus theme going, consider serving the shots alongside lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, or lemon sorbet. It’s a delightful way to play up the citrus notes.
lemon drop shot in glass.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called a lemon drop?

My guess is that the name comes from the classic lemon drop candy. Because both the shot and the candy are sweet and tart, they share similar qualities and flavor notes. 

Why are Lemon Drop Shots so strong?

Well, they don’t have to be. In fact, I feel my recipe is a really nice balance. With that being said, if you like things sweeter, add more simple syrup. If you want more tartness, use more lemon juice. You should never have to drink something you don’t like. Find the right balance that works for you. 

What is the best vodka to use in a lemon drop shot?

The best types of vodka to use in a lemon drop shot are those that are clean and smooth. It’s important to choose a vodka that doesn’t have a strong flavor or aroma that would clash with the lemon juice and simple syrup. Popular choices include Absolut, Grey Goose, and Belvedere.

Are there any non-alcoholic substitutes I can use in this recipe?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version of the lemon drop shot, simply replace the vodka with lemonade or sparkling water. You can also add a splash of vanilla extract to give it a little extra flavor.

lemon drop shot in glass.

Variations

Now that you have mastered the classic lemon drop shot recipe, it’s time to shake things up and try some variations. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Blueberry Lemon Drop Shot: Muddle a handful of blueberries in the bottom of the shaker before adding the other ingredients. This will infuse your shot with a sweet burst of blueberry flavor that perfectly complements the tartness of the lemon.
  2. Spicy Lemon Drop Shot: If you like a little heat with your sweet, try adding a few slices of jalapeño. The spicy kick will balance out the sourness of the lemon and give your shot a bit of a kick.
  3. Lavender Lemon Drop Shot: For a more floral twist on the classic shot, try adding a splash of lavender simple syrup to your mix. You can either buy pre-made syrup or make your own by simmering lavender buds with sugar and water.
  4. Blackberry Basil Lemon Drop Shot: Muddle a few blackberries and a sprig of fresh basil in the bottom of your shaker before adding the other ingredients. The combination of sweet, juicy blackberries and herbal, slightly peppery basil creates a complex and delicious flavor profile.

With these recipe variations, the possibilities are endless. Feel free to experiment and find your own perfect twist on the classic lemon drop shot. Cheers!,

lemon drop shot in glass.

More Shot Recipes You May Enjoy

Ready to give this lemon drop shot a try? I hope you enjoy it! If you do, please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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lemon drop shot in glass.

Lemon Drop Shot

Pucker up! You only need a few ingredients to make a Lemon Drop Shot. This recipe packs a punch in both tartness and sweetness. It’s sure to be a hit at your next party.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon, lemon drop, shooter, shot
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 107kcal

Ingredients

Garnish:

  • quartered lemon slice
  • sugar

Instructions

  • Begin by preparing your garnish. Dip both sides of a quartered lemon slice into sugar. Set aside.
  • To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously.
  • Strain into a shot glass. Garnish with sugared lemon.
  • To enjoy, drink the shot first, then suck on the lemon slice.

Video

Notes

Make It for a Crowd
You can easily adapt this single shot recipe for a crowd. Here’s how to create lemon drop shots to serve 8.
    • 8 lemon wedge dipped in sugar
    • 1 cup chilled vodka
    • 1/3 cup simple syrup
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
Combine vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill. Pour into eight shot glasses and garnish with sugared lemon wedge.

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.03g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

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