This recipe is my twist on a classic lemon drop shooter. A fun drink everyone loves to throw back, a lemon shooter can make a tension-easing start to a romantic evening at home. And to make sure the romance sticks, I’ve added the aphrodisiac of lavender to make a lavender lemon drop shooter. I’ve also added instructions to make it a martini for those who appreciate more than just a shot of this delicious sweet and sharply sour cocktail.
What makes a good lemon drop shooter recipe?
The lemon drop cocktail is a vodka-based sour. Sours are a family of cocktails made with a base spirit, a sweetener and fresh citrus to give the appropriate sweet and sour flavor.
The lemon drop cocktail was invented in the 1970s. As is the case with many cocktails, the origin is a bit murky but some say it was invented in a San Francisco bar by a man named Norman Jay Hobday. This lemon vodka cocktail quickly became one of the most popular drinks of the 1980s and 1990s.
The drink can be made with citrus-flavored vodka. But many bartenders swear by using home-infused vodka with Meyer lemon. Some versions include triple sec but in my opinion, the extra alcohol just complicates things.
Occasionally you will find lemon drop ingredient lists calling for muddled fruits, such as raspberry or blueberry. And with this recipe, I make it a lavender shot. The possibilities are really only limited by the imagination of the bartender. The one step that should never be skipped is sugaring the rim of the shot glass. The direct hit of sweetness and the texture of the sugar add a layer of sensation to the experience of sipping this drink.
How to make a lavender lemon shot or martini
A lavender lemon cocktail or lavender lemon shooter is an incredibly easy drink recipe. Just don’t forget to make and chill the lavender syrup in advance. But once you’ve made your simple syrup, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. (You can also use any leftovers to make lavender lemonade, one of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks of summer.)
To make the lavender syrup, you need:
- Granulated sugar
- Dried lavender – for this lavender shot recipe, you’re going to use dried, not fresh lavender flowers. Be sure to purchase culinary (food-grade) lavender.
- Lemon zest – This is the outer peel of the lemon. The easiest way to get the zest without accidentally including any of the bitter white pith between the peel and the flesh of the fruit is using a zester.
With your lavender lemon syrup waiting, this drink becomes a three-ingredient cocktail. Just add the lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice and vodka to a cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. To make the lavender lemon shooter, strain the liquid into two shot glasses that have been rimmed with sugar. For a lavender lemon martini, strain into a sugar-rimmed martini glass.
Check out one of my favorite cocktail shakers on Amazon
Why lavender cocktails are great for date night
This lavender lemon shot starts your evening with an aromatic known for its relaxing properties. Lavender is an aphrodisiac essence with many curative properties.
The aromatics of the lavender against the bright, sharp flavors of lemon and lemon zest wake up the taste buds. (And perhaps they also stir some feelings of passion.) At the same time, the shot of vodka increases your blood circulation, potentially warming your body from the inside out. For me, serving lemon and lavender shooters makes one of the best ways to start date night off on the right note.
Serve this tasty shot recipe in moderation
This lemon drop recipe is my choice for a toast at the beginning of the meal because it primes the taste buds – and the senses – or the adventure to come. As with all alcoholic beverages, moderation is key, particularly where the games of love are concerned.
Although the recipe can be made as a lemon and lavender martini, I prefer serving lemon shooters. That’s because my recipe makes two lemon and lavender vodka shots, one for each lover, which is just the right amount to prime your mind and body for the meal – and possible bedroom dessert – to come.
This faintly floral, lightly sweet vodka shot recipe is part of the boozy-themed date night plan I’ve dubbed “Hitting the Sauce,” a guide to cooking with alcohol to create a romantic meal. So if you need a dinner plan to go with this pre-dinner shooter, don’t miss the full menu.
Lavender Lemon Drop Shooter & Martini
Prevent your screen from going dark
This cocktail recipe adds lavender to the syrup for a deliciously herbal twist on the classic lemon drop. You can use it to make one lavender lemon martini or two lavender lemon drop shooters as instructed.
For the lavender syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp dried lavender
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
For the cocktail
- 1 oz lavender syrup
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- sugar to rim shot glass
To make lavender syrup
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add sugar, lavender and zest, and dissolve sugar into the water. Cool completely, and strain into a squeeze bottle. Chill and store for up to 7 days.
A note on the provided nutrition information
The nutrition information provided has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.02mg
Diane Brown is the author of The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations For Lovers
This article was written in 2009 and updated to include martini instructions in July 2023.
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