Looking for a pucker-worthy way to kick off the weekend? These Lemon Drop Shots are just what you've been looking for! Whether you're a seasoned party animal or a timid tippler, these mouth-watering shots are sure to add some zing to your next soirée. With a tangy citrus flavor and sweet, sugary finish, this lemon drop shot recipe is the perfect way to get any party started.
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are times in life when the clink of a champagne glass is an apropos celebration, but others when nothing will do but a shooter. *Cue up the LMFAO.*
Whether it’s toasting the start of a much-needed vacation or celebrating a friend’s approaching nuptials, a festive, shot glass-sized tipple in the form of a green tea shot, white tea shot, cherry bomb shot, chocolate cake shot or this zesty lemon drop shot is the only solution.
That’s not to say it’s time to relive the college years with small glasses of well liquor that are slammed down the hatch as quickly as possible because they don’t taste great. Rather, this is a time to bust out your mixology skills in a fun, youthful, and irresistibly delicious manner. We are all adults, and it’s time to live our best lives, you know?
Made with just 3 simple ingredients in about 5 minutes, these sweet-tart, vodka-spiked sips of summery deliciousness are Calvin and my way to relive spring break — sans the sunburns and cramped sleeping accommodations, of course. 😂
So, next time you’re ready for a party to commence, grab your shaker, mix up a batch of lemon shots, lemon drop candy, garnish with candied lemon slices and get ready for an unforgettable evening at your next party!
Wondering what’s in a lemon drop shot? As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make these slurp-worthy, lemonade-flavored vodka shots for your next happy hour. Here’s what to grab to make these lemon drop shooters that are always a good idea in your own kitchen:
- Simple Syrup - Make your own simple syrup by mixing equal parts water and sugar and heat on medium heat in a small saucepan - this syrup is as simple as it gets. Feel free to zhuzh up your lemon drop drink recipe by swapping in your favorite simple syrup infusion.
- Vodka - The star of the show! This clear, odorless spirit is the perfect base for any cocktail, and it's what gives the Lemon Drop shot its kick. Of course, if you're not a fan of vodka, you can always switch it up with your preferred liquor. Tequila, white rum, or even gin can make for a tasty twist on the classic Lemon Drop shot recipe.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - To get the brightest, juiciest citrus flavor, make sure to opt for real, fresh lemons, NOT the kind that come from a bottle. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to flavor your sugar with the zest for an extra hit of fresh, zesty goodness! Then cut a lemon slice for a lovely garnish.
- Sugar - For balancing the tart acidity of the lemons and the alcoholic kick of vodka both in the drink and on the sugar rim. Feel free to get fancy and swap in vanilla sugar for an added layer of complexity.
📖 Step by Step Instructions
Prepare to win the host of the year with this quick and easy recipe for the perfect lemon drop shot. Here’s how they’re made:
Step 1: Shake the simple syrup, vodka, and lemon juice with ice cubes until chilled and frothy.
Step 2: Make Lemon Sugar. Gently rub the lemon zest into the sugar on a small plate that is flat.
Step 3: Rim Your Glass. Trace a lemon wedge around the edge of your shot glass, and dip the rim of the shot glass into the plate with lemon sugar.
Step 4: Strain & Serve. Strain and pour the simple shot mixture into the sugared shot glass, add a lemon wedge or slice of lemon for garnish and lemon flavor, and enjoy!
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
While I love this lemon drop drink recipe just the way it is written, there is always room for you to exercise your creative muscles. Here are a few ideas on how to customize lemon drops to your liking:
- Berry Beautiful. Consider making an extra colorful raspberry lemon drop shot, blueberry lemon drop shot, or strawberry lemon drop shot by infusing your simple syrup with berries or adding a splash of berry purée to the cocktail shaker. Garnish with the fresh berry of your choice.
- Spice It Up. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and/or use ginger-infused simple syrup to give your shots a bit of kick.
- Flower Power. Use some culinary lavender to add a perfumed note to your simple syrup.
- Lower-Sugar. Make these vodka lemon shots friendly for your keto or diabetic buds by swapping in the cup-for-cup sugar alternative of your choice. Agave or honey syrup would be a great option.
- Spiritless Shots. Use your favorite NA vodka to make tasty adult beverages that even the DD’s can enjoy!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Use high-quality ingredients. Since there are so few ingredients in lemon drop shots, make sure you’re opting for the best there is. Go for good quality vodka like grey goose or Tito's and use fresh lemons for the tastiest tipples.
- Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Don't be afraid to shake your Lemon Drop shots vigorously before pouring them into the glasses. The shaking will help emulsify the ingredients like your homemade simple syrup and create a smooth, well-blended shot.
- Use a strainer - the best way to make sure there are no pulp or seeds in your shot.
- Go for garnishing gold. A lemon wheel or wedge is the classic garnish for a Lemon Drop shot with extra lemony goodness. You can also add a colorful straw or a fun cocktail umbrella for added flair.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Sure! Feel free to mix up the lemon juice, simple syrup, and vodka up to a few hours ahead of time and store it in the fridge. When it’s time to get the party started, grab your shaker, a cooler full of ice, and as many shot glasses as there are people to serve.
I personally like my Lemon Drops pretty tart and refreshing, so I use a ratio of 4:3 vodka to lemon.
It's always best to make and serve Lemon Drop shots fresh from the shaker for the best flavor and experience.
If you happen to have any leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for up to a week. Make sure to give them another shake before serving for the best taste and texture.
If you try this recipe for Lemon Drop Shots, please leave a 🌟 review and share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter! 📧
Lemon Drop Shot
- 1 Lemon, zested
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ¼ oz Simple Syrup
- ¾ oz Lemon Juice
- 1 oz Vodka
- Garnish, if desired of lemon wedge
- Gently rub the lemon zest into the sugar on a small, flat plate.¼ cup Sugar, 1 Lemon
- Trace a lemon wedge around the edge of your shot glass, and place the rim into the plate with lemon sugar.
- Shake the simple syrup, vodka, and lemon juice until chilled and frothy in a cocktail shaker with ice.¼ oz Simple Syrup, ¾ oz Lemon Juice, 1 oz Vodka
- Strain the lemon shot into the sugared shot glass, add a lemon wedge for garnish, and enjoy!Garnish