Classic Lemon Drop Shot

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A lemon drop shot is a great way to get the party started! This vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, and lemon juice recipe is simple to prepare and tastes refreshing and delicious. If you love lemon drop candy, you will love the flavor of these tasty shots. 

What makes them so special is the heady combination of sweet and sour. You don’t need any special equipment to make these, just a cocktail shaker and some shot glasses. So whether you’ve enjoyed a classic lemon drop shot at a bar or restaurant or never tried one, it’s well worth making homemade lemon drops because they’re quick and easy and of course totally delicious.

Different Recipes for Lemon Drops

Lemon drop recipes vary. Some are made with limoncello (a lemon liqueur) while others use granulated sugar or a sugar cube in place of the simple syrup. It’s always a good idea to use fresh, not bottled, lemon juice. The flavor is fresher and better.

This cocktail has been around since the 1970s in San Francisco and is known all over the globe today. Despite there being various recipes for lemon drop and lemon drop martini, the following recipe is the original one. 

Use any kind of vodka you like here. Stolichnaya, Ketel One and Tito’s are popular vodka brands for making a lemon drop shot, while Cointreau is an alternative to triple sec.

What is Simple Syrup?

This is basically a combination of sugar and water. You can buy it premade or prepare your own. To make simple syrup, bring equal amounts of water and sugar to a boil in a pan then simmer it for 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the sugar syrup is clear. Let it cool down then proceed with the lemon drop recipe.

How To Make A Sugared Rim

Although this is optional, a sugared rim does make the shooter look pretty. To sugar the rim, simply run a lemon wedge around the edge of the glass and then roll it in sugar. 

You might also like to garnish the shots with a wafer thin lemon slice. For an added twist, add some lemon zest to the sugar before rolling the glass in it.

Lemon Drop Shot

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 257kcal


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Ice cubes as needed


  • All ingredients ready? Let's begin!
  • Shake the vodka, lemon juice, triple sec, and simple syrup with ice in a cocktail shaker.
  • Strain the mixture into a shot glass.



Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg


  • You can use sugar in place of simple syrup if you prefer. Use one sugar cube or 1 teaspoon of white sugar.
  • Want to make a low carb version? Simply swap the simple syrup for artificial sweetener (see the packaging for the right conversion).

This lemon drop shot recipe is quick and easy and you will find the shot tastes exactly like lemon drop candies. Although these shots are very easy to drink, it’s easy to overdo them because they taste so amazing, so it’s best to pace yourself!

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