July 7, 2022

Lemon Drop Shot

Prep Time: 5 mins
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This lemon drop shot recipe is going to be the hit of every party! It's a sweet tart shot that's really smooth and is the perfect shooter to enjoy on any occasion.

All you need are a few simple ingredients - a good quality vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and a few lemon wedges. Muddle everything together, add ice, and give it a good shake and you've got the best lemon drop shots ever!

Shots are fun - try these Pink Starburst Shots and Green Tea Shots to get the party started!

lemon drop shots on a serving board with lemon wedge, mint leaves, and a cocktail shaker.

Remember the super popular lemon drop candy? I used to LOVE them as a kid. They used to get stuck in my teeth as I sat there and down the box of candy. Well, these taste just like them. I call them the adult version of the candy.

If you're a lemon lover like me, this lemon drop recipe is for you. It's packed with lemony flavor but has just the right amount of sweetness to balance out all of the tart flavor.

This is the type of shot that goes down really smoothly without making the back of your jaw pucker but the lemon flavor is unmistakeable.

lemon drop shots surrounded by freshly cut lemons and garnished with mint leaves.

What sets this lemon drop drink apart is that I use fresh ingredients for that true lemony goodness. That means fresh lemons that are juiced as well as sliced and muddled in a cocktail shaker and shake with vodka and ice.

Save this recipe for the holidays, your next party, cookouts, and any event where you want a drink that will be the star of the show!

What are lemon drop shots made of?

Lemon juice and vodka are the main ingredients of lemon drop shots. This simple recipe consists of vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and lemons.

There are a few renditions of the lemon drop shot, but at it's core, these are the ingredients used.

A lemon drop shot is a lot like a lemon drop martini except it doesn't have triple sec.

ingredients needed to make a lemon drop shot: vodka, simple syrup, lemons, lemon juice, and sugar.

What's in a lemon drop shot?

  • Vodka - I used Tito's Vodka, it's one of my faves for a really good price! Grey Goose works too. However, you can use whatever kind of vodka you like!
  • Lemon Juice - freshly squeezed is best, but if you don't have enough lemons, you can use prepackaged lemon juice.
  • Lemons - this is key for the true lemon flavor! When muddled, the oil in the lemons are released and gives a beautiful bright flavor to the shooters. It just give this drink a great lemon twist.
  • Simple Syrup - for sweetness and is a great way to balance out the tart lemon flavor.
  • Ice Cubes - serving this drink ice cold make for the most refreshing perfect shot.
  • White Sugar - Optional for sugar rim

Equipment Needed

I highly recommend using a cocktail shaker (a stainless steel shaker is best), a jigger, and a strainer (if your cocktail shaker doesn't have one built in). Also, I recommend using a muddle to get those lemon oils to release from the wedges. You'll also need shot glasses.

If you don't have a cocktail shaker, you can use a mason jar with a lid. If you don't have either, you can use a cup and just be sure to stir everything together. This lemon drop cocktail will be delicious either way.

If you don't have a muddler, you can use the bottom of a wooden spoon to press on the lemons in the cocktail shaker or cup.

a single lemon grass shot in a bowl of sugar and lemon zest garnished with fresh mint leaves.

How to make a Lemon Drop Shot

  • If you're going to add a sugared rim to the shot glasses, pour simple syrup into a shallow bowl and put a few tablespoons of sugar in another. Dip the shooters into the simple syrup and the in the sugar and set aside. (Pro tip: add lemon zest to the sugar for an extra punch of lemon flavor)
  • Place lemon wedges in a cocktail shaker and muddle for about 10 seconds. Then add vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice. Place the cap back on and shake until the shaker becomes cold, about another 10 seconds.

  • Strain the mixture into the shot glasses and serve! If you'd like a garnish, add a lemon slice on top to make it look pretty!

How to make a large batch

It's always a good idea to make a large batch of these, especially if you're having a big get together. You can make a large batch of these pretty easily.

You'll need a pitcher and simply combine vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, lemon wedges, and add ice. Give it a good stir and serve (see the exact measurements in the recipe card)

Garnish Ideas!

  • Add tangy-sweet lemon wedges or sugared lemon wedge to the top of each of the shot glasses.
  • If you prefer salt on the rim of the shot glass, add that instead of sugar!
  • Serve actual lemon drop candies for a true lemon drop experience 🙂

Substitutions

  • If you don't have simple syrup - don't worry! Simply add a teaspoon of sugar to the cocktail shaker along with a half teaspoon of water. If you have a sugar cube, you can add that as well, just be sure that the sugar dissolves completely in the cocktail shaker prior to serving.
  • If you want to make this lemon drop shot recipe and you don't have vodka, you can use a lemon liqueur or limencello and turn this into a limoncello shot instead for an Italian spin!
  • If you don't have any fresh lemons on hand, using store bought lemon juice works.
  • For a mocktail shot, use lemon juice, lemon wedges, simple syrup, and water or your favorite non-alcoholic vodka. You can use the exact measurements in the recipe card.
lemon drop shot on a serving board.

FAQs

Are lemon drop shots strong?

Yes, the lemon flavor coupled with the taste of the vodka makes these shots have a strong flavor. They're considered strong because there's little dilution of the alcohol because not much else is added to this shot except lemon juice and simple syrup. You can tone it down by adding less vodka.

What does a lemon drop shot taste like?

A lemon drop shot tastes like a strong lemonade - tart, sweet, and refreshingly smooth.

More Drink Recipes!

lemon drop shot on a serving board.

Lemon Drop Shot

This lemon drop shot recipe is going to be the hit of every party! It's a sweet tart shot that's really smooth and is the perfect shooter!
Serving: 4 shots
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Calories: 87kcal

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Jigger
  • Shot Glasses

Ingredients

For Sugared Rim:

  • 3 tbsps sugar (optional for sugar rim)
  • 2 tbsps simple syrup

Lemon Drop Shots

  • 3 lemon wedges (additional for garnish)
  • 2.5 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz lemon juice (or 2 lemons, juiced)

To make a large batch

  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • cup simple syrup
  • ½ cup vodka
  • ½ cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons, juiced)

Directions

  • (Optional) For the sugared rim, pour sugar into a shallow bowl and pour simple syrup in another shallow bowl. Place the rim of the shot glasses in the simple syrup and then dip into the sugar and set aside.
  • Place lemon wedges into a cocktail shaker. Muddle for 10 seconds, until juices begin to render.
  • Add simple syrup, vodka, lemon juice, and ice. Place the cap on top of the shaker cup and shake for 10-15 seconds, until the shaker becomes cold.
  • Strain and pour into the shot glasses.

To make a large batch

  • Place lemons into a large pitcher and smash with a muddle or large spoon. Pour simple syrup, vodka, and lemon juice into the pitcher. Add ice and stir together.

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Nutrition

Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine: African-American

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    This is way better than any lemon drop I've had at a bar and surprisingly simple to make. I'll be using your recipe again and again!

  2. 5 stars
    This lemon drop shots were amazing! We made them with friends over the weekend, and everyone asked to have the recipe. I am certainly making this again!

  3. 5 stars
    Lemon Drops have long been a favorite so it's odd I had never made them at home. As soon as I tasted one I knew the shot glasses were not going to be enough! Thanks for my new drink obsession!

  4. 5 stars
    I had a bbq last weekend and made these shots and everyone LOVED them. Maybe a little bit too much! They were the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Definitely have to be careful not to have too many because they're so good!

  5. 5 stars
    I served these lemon drop shots at a gathering I had for my girlfriend's birthday and we enjoyed (maybe a smidge too much). They reminded me of my favorite candy, Lemonheads, which also took me back to my childhood (not that I was drinking as a child, but you know what I'm saying)?

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve literally been making all of your drinks all week and they’re all so good! These are one my favorites though. They were Really smooth, tart and sweet all at the same time.

  7. 5 stars
    I really love that this recipe uses real lemons. The shots came out really good and weren't too tart or too sweet. Really good balance flavors.