June 19 is National Martini Day. So, of course, my decision for what to make was already made for me. A martini, obvi. But which one?
The traditional martini is made with gin and vermouth, garnished with olives or a lemon twist. Purists will say to only stir a martini. Some, like James Bond, feel martinis should be shaken not stirred. I for one, do NOT intend to disagree with 007.
What I think is much more fun is the development of martinis with all the other types of liquor available. Since I prefer vodka to gin, I consider the development of the vodka martini to be a major breakthrough in the world of mixology.
I did a lot of
drinking research leading up to this
day. One of the first martinis I tried incorporated vodka and elderflower
liqueur. It was good but seemed to create insufficient liquid for my glass. I
then increased the volume…primarily of the alcohol. This was followed
immediately by a 3-hour nap. I’m such a lightweight. Sigh.
After intense research in the Sula and Spice Lab, the decision is: The Lemon Drop Martini. It’s summer, so it’s almost like lemonade…right?
I also found out that there are lots of different recipes for a Lemon Drop Martini. Could this get any more complicated?
I chose the recipe posted by “The Farm Wife Drinks” (gotta love that name), which uses both Limoncello and fresh lemon juice to provide the perfect lemony taste. Since I already had some Limoncello on hand, it seemed meant to be.
I made a slight adjustment after making this the first time. Farm Wife says to use granulated sugar and shake the cocktail long enough to dissolve the sugar. Well, considering that you are adding this to super-cold liquid, sugar is going to take a LONG time to dissolve. I found my original mix to be very tart and drank very little. Later when I poured it out, I found un-dissolved sugar at the bottom of the glass. So I made it again using simple syrup, which was much better.
By the way, you know what simple syrup is, right? Just in case, I will explain:
Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water dissolved together. For one-time use, I make a few tablespoons at a time, just microwave them together in a small cup to dissolve and then allow to cool. If larger quantities are needed, heat 1-2 cups of water in a small saucepan, add the same quantity of sugar (to one cup water add one cup sugar, etc) and stir to dissolve. Pour in a jar with cover and store in the refrigerator.
I like to taste both sweet and tart when I have anything lemon flavored. This mix provides that. And it will be very simple to adjust the sweetness to personal taste, by changing the amount of simple syrup.
I also learned that my martini glass is super large!! The recipe makes two martinis. Which I had no trouble fitting into my glass. Hmm. I think I’m starting to understand the previously-mentioned 3-hour nap phenomenon.
If you like the crisp refreshing taste of lemon in summer, this drink is the perfect way to celebrate National Martini Day!
Lemon Drop Martini with Limoncello
- 4 shots vodka
- 2 shots Limoncello
- 1 shot orange liqueur triple sec or similar
- 1 TB fresh lemon juice
- ½ TB simple syrup
- Juice half a lemon. If a sugar rim is desired, dip the rim of the glass into the juice and then immediately into some sugar spread out on a small plate. Repeat with second glass. Set aside
- In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, Limoncello, orange liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice. Shake well.
- Pour into the prepared glasses. Garnish with a slice of lemon and enjoy.