Lemon Martini, also known as a Lemon Drop Martini, is a sweet-and-tangy cocktail that is often tagged a favorite of women, especially in America. Fondly referred to as the Lemontini, or Lemon-tini, the alcoholic drink has a beautiful pale yellow color and a light, fresh taste and aroma. Traditionally, the cocktail drink comprises alcoholic drinks (mostly Vodka and Cointreau) and a non-alcoholic sugar-syrup with a lemon flavor. Fresh lemons are also an important ingredient.
The drink is exceptionally popular in America, specifically the West Coast, and in addition to being a common household preparation it is a regular and important feature on menus of cafes, eateries and even posh bars and pubs.
While the Lemon Drop Martini is traditionally a potent alcoholic drink, some people prefer to stick to the 'virgin' version that is made without any traces of Vodka or any other liquor.
History of Lemon-tini
The Lemon Martini is often considered one of the first modern ‘noveltinis’ of America and was essentially invented in the 1970s. San Francisco's Henry Africa's, the first fern bar, is often credited as being the inventor of the drink. Although the bar does not exist anymore, its invention has become a West Coast favorite, as well as a favorite of various other places and people across the world.
The first Lemontini was made with simple syrup and sugar that was meant to cut the sharp taste of vodka. To cut-and-mix the taste of sugar, lemon was added and thus a new drink was invented. The drink has evolved over the years and the proportions have shifted in various ways. There are many variations of the traditional recipe, but the most popular version continues to be the simple vodka, sugar, syrup and lemon mix.
Ingredients Used in Preparation of Lemon Drop Martini
The original Lemon Martini of Henry Africa was made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, Vodka, Triple Sec, syrup (plain sugar syrup) and sugar. Over the years, however, mixers and bartenders have experimented with various ingredients and mixes. While the base alcohol continues to be Vodka, the mixer alcohol ranges from Triple Sec and Cointreau to lemon-flavored White Rum and even Tequila. Sometimes, the simple sugar syrup is made especially for the drink by adding lemon to simple sugar and making it into lemon-syrup, and the same is true for the sugar used. A lemon or two are squeezed directly into the sugar and the ingredients are mixed together, thereby making lemon-sugar.
Preparation Overview of Lemon Drop Martini
A Lemon-tini is a quick and easy cocktail to make and a single serving can be mixed and served in about 5 minutes, and sometimes even less. It is, however, very important to mix carefully so that the alcohol does not get 'bruised' (ruined or over-flavored). Also, the solid sugar needs to get mixed into the drink properly so that there aren't any unpleasant granules at the bottom. Powdered sugar can be used to avoid this situation but traditionalists strictly believe that the sugar should be solid for maximum flavor.
In an ice-filled shaker or mixer, the ingredients (2 parts Vodka, 1 or 2 parts of Rum, Cointreau, Tequila, etc., sugar, syrup and lemon juice) are added and mixed together till the cocktail has blended well and there are no 'solids' floating about. Once sufficiently mixed, the drink is poured into a chilled cocktail glass, with or without ice, and it is ready to be served.
Popular Lemon Martini Recipe Variations
Lemon-tini Mix - This version of the popular cocktail is probably the easiest and quickest recipe to prepare. It is made with a ready-made lemon-tini mix that is easily available in general stores. The mix is shaken with the alcohol and the drink is ready to be served.
Lemon-tini with Tequila - This is a comparatively rare version of the Lemon Drop Martini and made with 2 parts of Vodka and 2 parts of Tequila. Although many believe that it tastes as pleasant as the traditional version, Tequila is mostly not the alcohol of preference as it can get too bitter for some.
Virgin or Non-Alcholic Lemon-tini - This variation of the traditional Lemon Drop Martini is made without any traces of alcohol. Fizzy drinks or soda pops are used in desired quantities as a substitute for alcohol. This is a popular drink among teenagers.
Lemon-tini Nutrition Facts
A traditionally made Lemon-tini (single serving) has about 125 calories and 6.1 grams of carbohydrates. With 0.1 grams of protein, 2 milligrams of sodium and 0 to 0.1 grams of fat, the drink is healthier than most other cocktails.
Serving the Lemon-tini
Popularly a ladies' drink, the Lemon Martini is served chilled, mostly on-the-rocks, in an attractive way, with a lemon slice on the side of the glass and a lemon peel twist on top of the drink for garnish. A cherry is sometimes placed a-top the drink to make the appearance more pleasant. Although the drink is mostly served alone, non-sweet appetizers could make a good accompaniment, especially for those looking to cut the taste of the sugar.
Lemon Drop Martini Trivia
Oprah Winfrey has often said that Lemon Martini is her favorite cocktail and it was the highlight of her Legends Ball.