I love my wine and I love my bourbon, but sometimes, I crave a cocktail. This Friday was just one of those times, a day at the end of a very long and boring week when I wanted something slightly sweet, very tart, and extremely boozy.
So I drove to the LCBO and picked up the ingredients for one of my all-time favorite cocktails: the Lemon Drop.*
PC’s Lemon Drop
1.5 oz vodka (I used Smirnoff)
0.5 oz triple sec or other orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier**)
0.75 teaspoon superfine sugar (yes, I know measuring spoons don’t come in 3/4 tsp sizes. Just use a 1 tsp measure and eyeball it)
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Sugar and a lemon slice for decoration
Run a lemon slice or wedge around the edge of a glass, then press the slightly damp glass into a plate of superfine sugar, coating the rim. Place several ice cubes in a cocktail shaker; add the vodka, triple sec, sugar, and lemon juice. Shake gently but thoroughly (you want to make sure the sugar dissolves), then strain into the prepared glass.
The key to a great Lemon Drop is using high-quality lemon juice. I’ve had good luck with organic Santa Cruz lemon juice, but it’s pricey and my Canadian supermarket didn’t carry it in any case, so I made these with fresh-squeezed lemons. Under no circumstances should you use a squeezy bottle of lemon juice from concentrate — your cocktail will be super-sour and have a weird chemical aftertaste.
I should also warn you that I like my Lemon Drops a bit tart, so if you’ve got a sweet tooth, bump the sugar up to a full teaspoon.
Pace yourself — these go down easy but they pack a punch! (Trust me on that one.)
* I do not call it a Lemon Drop Martini, even when served in a martini glass, because I don’t want to argue with people who have strong opinions about what constitutes a “real” martini.
** I usually just use whatever cheap-o triple sec is on sale at the liquor store, but my local LCBO was remodeling and this was all they had on the shelves.