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Our Favorite Lemon Cocktails to Drink

Enjoy these delicious lemon drinks any time

No flavor says “summer has arrived” quite like lemon. Zesty and refreshing, a lemon drink is an ideal choice for cooling you down on a hot day. Add some alcohol to the equation to make a lemon cocktail and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed summer feeling! 

Lemon isn’t only reserved for summer, though. Its popularity gives it year-round appeal and a delicious, lemon cocktail is always a welcome addition at any dinner party regardless of the season.

A lemon cocktail is also a fabulous choice for kicking back and enjoying your own company after a hard day at the office!

If you’re a fan of the unmistakable flavor of lemon and you want to expand your mixology skills, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find 20 of the best lemon cocktail recipes that you need to add to your drink-making repertoire.

From classic favorites to more imaginative tipples, each of these sour cocktails makes the most of this fantastic fruit!

1. Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour Drink

The Whiskey Sour is one of the world’s oldest cocktails, dating all the way back to the 1870s.

Unlike many cocktails, you don’t need to gather together loads of ingredients to make this crowd-please. All it takes is three ingredients and a little garnish to give it that aesthetic flare. 

Here’s how to make a Whiskey Sour:

Ingredients:

  • Bourbon whiskey – 2 oz 
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 oz
  • Maple syrup – ¾ oz
  • Twist of orange peel to garnish 

Method:

  1. Grab a cocktail shaker and fill it halfway with ice. 
  2. Add the bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
  3. Shake everything together until it’s really cold.
  4. Next, fill a lowball glass with ice and strain the shaken cocktail into it.
  5. Garnish with the orange peel.

2. Lemon Drop Martini

Lemon Drop Martini Drink

This is a cocktail recipe for anybody that loves the tart, sour-sweetness of lemon. Served in a martini glass, it’s as visually pleasing as it is delicious, and it’s bound to be a guaranteed hit at any party.

It’s also incredibly easy to make and doesn’t call for many ingredients. And, since it’s made in a shaker, you can make more than one at a time!

Here’s how to make a Lemon Drop Martini:

Ingredients:

  • Vodka (regular or citron) – 1.5 oz
  • Cointreau – ½ oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – ½ oz
  • Maple syrup – 1 tsp
  • Superfine sugar
  • Twist of lemon peel to garnish

Method:

  1. Take a slice of lemon and run it around the rim of the martini glass.
  2. Pour the superfine sugar onto a plate and carefully dip the glass upside down into it so that it is coated with sugar.
  3. Next, take a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. 
  4. Add the vodka, cointreau, lemon juice, and maple syrup and shake until cold. 
  5. Strain the shaken cocktail into your sugar-rimmed glass and garnish with the lemon peel twist. 

3. Gin Fizz

Refreshing Cold Gin Fizz

Since the early 1900s, the Gin Fizz has been a popular cocktail among lemon lovers. As its name suggests, this is a fizzy drink and it owes its bubbliness to the soda water used to make it.

Like many cocktail recipes, it also includes an egg white, but don’t be put off by this! This is what gives it its velvety texture and it really isn’t a difficult ingredient to work with.

Here’s how to make a Gin Fizz:

Ingredients:

  • Gin – 2 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – ¾ oz
  • Maple syrup – ½ oz
  • 1 egg white
  • Soda water
  • Twist of lemon peel to garnish 

Method:

  1. Start by adding the gin, lemon juice, maple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
  2. Now, fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake for a further 30 seconds.
  3. Strain this mixture into a short glass and top with the soda water. 
  4. Garnish with the twist of lemon peel and enjoy!

4. Sidecar

sidecar cocktail drink

This is another classic lemon cocktail that is adored by many people for its sour, citrus flavor.

The Sidecar is also one of the easiest cocktails to make, so it’s perfect for anybody who isn’t too confident in their mixology skills. Likewise, it’s the perfect choice when you need a delicious drink as quickly as possible!

Here’s how to make a Sidecar:

Ingredients:

  • Cognac – 2 oz
  • Cointreau – 1 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 oz
  • Superfine sugar 
  • Twist of lemon peel to garnish

Method:

  1. Create a sugared rim on your martini glass by running a slice of lemon around it and dipping it into the superfine sugar. 
  2. Next, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in your cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake for 30 seconds until everything is really cold.
  4. Strain the cocktail mixture into your glass, garnish with the lemon wedge, and serve. 

5. Limoncello Mojito

Limoncello Mojito with ice

Anybody that loves the flavor of lemon needs to know about Limoncello. This delicious, velvety, lemon liquor comes from Italy where it’s actually customary to enjoy a shot of Limoncello after a meal.

It’s also incredibly strong as far as its alcoholic content goes but, mixed into this cocktail, it loses some of its potency.

Here’s how to make a Limoncello Mojito:

Ingredients:

  • Limoncello – 1 oz
  • White rum – 1 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice – 1 oz
  • Soda water – 4 oz
  • Simple syrup – ½ oz
  • 3 mint leaves, plus extra for garnish

Method:

  1. Start by muddling the 3 mint leaves, lime juice, and simple syrup together in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. 
  2. Fill with ice, then add the limoncello and white rum.
  3. Shake for 30 seconds until everything is super cold. 
  4. Fill a highball glass with ice, then strain the cocktail into it. 
  5. Fill the remaining space in the glass with the soda water.
  6. Garnish with the extra mint leaves, sit back, and enjoy!

6. Lemon Margarita

Lemon Margarita cocktails on vibrant turquoise background

While we’re adapting other cocktails into lemon-based drinks, let’s look at the Lemon Margarita.

This delicious drink contains all the best parts of a classic margarita, only with that sharpness of lemon. Its sweet, crisp, tart flavor makes it a perfect summertime treat and, best of all, you only need a handful of ingredients.

Here’s how to make a Lemon Margarita:

Ingredients:

  • Tequila – 1 ½ oz
  • Cointreau – 1 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – ¾ oz
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Lemon wedge to garnish

Method:

  1. Start by running a slice of lemon around the rim of your glass before turning it upside and carefully dipping it in the flaked sea salt.
  2. Next, place 4 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and pour in the tequila, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake everything together until cold. 
  4. Strain into your salt-rimmed glass, fill with ice and top with the lemon wedge to garnish.

7. Vodka Lemonade

Pineapple Vodka Lemonade Drinks

Another fantastic summer cocktail, Vodka Lemonade is so easy to make that you don’t even need any special cocktail equipment! Simply pour everything into a pitcher and stir it up.

This also makes it an excellent cocktail for parties as everyone can easily help themselves.

Here’s how to make Vodka Lemonade:

Ingredients:

  • Homemade lemonade – 8 oz
  • Vodka (regular or citron) – 2 oz
  • Fresh mint for garnish

Method:

  1. Half fill a pitcher with ice then pour in the homemade lemonade and vodka.
  2. Give everything a good stir to combine it. 
  3. Garnish with the mint leaves and decant into individual glasses as needed.

8. French 75

French 75 Cocktail with Lemon

A cocktail is a real treat and, sometimes, only the very best ingredients should be called for when you want to indulge. This is where a French 75 comes into play.

This luxurious drink combines gin and lemon juice with champagne to create a real show-stopping drink that is equally as good for group dinner parties and romantic occasions alike. 

Here’s how to make a French 75:

Ingredients:

  • Gin – 1 ½ oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – ¾ oz
  • Simple syrup – ½ oz
  • Champagne – 3 oz
  • A twist of lemon peel to garnish

Method:

  1. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. 
  2. Shake for exactly 15 seconds and then strain into a champagne flute.
  3. Fill the rest of the glass with the champagne. 
  4. Garnish with the lemon peel twist and serve. 

9. Long Island Iced Tea

2 Glasses of Long Island Iced Tea on a Table

This is another of the world’s most popular cocktails. Be warned, though. The Long Island Iced Tea is a strong drink! It combines 5 different types of liquor with cola and lemon juice, giving it a refreshing but powerful taste.

It’s also one of the easiest cocktails to make, and everything can be done directly in the glass.

Here’s how to make Long Island Iced Tea:

Ingredients:

  • Vodka – ½ oz
  • Tequila – ½ oz
  • White rum – ½ oz
  • Gin – ½ oz
  • Cointreau – ½ oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 oz
  • Cola – 3 ounces
  • Lemon wedge to garnish 

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a highball glass. 
  2. Top with ice, stir, garnish, and serve.

10. Limoncello Martini

Limoncello Martini Cocktail Drink

We’re back in Italian territory and using the deliciousness of Limoncello again to create an intense, flavor-packed cocktail.

A Limoncello Martini is an absolute must-try for anybody that loves the sour-sweetness of lemons, albeit without that mouth-puckering sharpness.

Like most lemon cocktails, this is a fantastic summer drink, but there’s really nothing to stop you from enjoying it all year round. 

Here’s how to make a Limoncello Martini:

Ingredients:

  • Limoncello – 1 ½ oz
  • Vodka – 1 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – ½ oz
  • Simple syrup – ½ oz
  • Twist of lemon peel to garnish

Method:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the limoncello, vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  • Shake until cold, then strain into a martini glass.
  • Garnish with the twist of lemon peel and serve.

11. Tom Collins

Classic Tom Collins Drink

If there is one iconic lemon cocktail, it’s the Tom Collins. A cousin of the Gin Fizz, this cocktail is sweet, refreshing, and has that bubbliness that makes it feel like a really special treat.

It’s also aesthetically pleasing and, when topped with a maraschino cherry, looks just like summer in a glass.

Here’s how to make a Tom Collins:

Ingredients:

  • Gin – 2 oz
  • Simple syrup – 1 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 oz
  • Soda water 
  • Lemon slice and maraschino cherry to serve

Method:

  1. Throw 4 ice cubes into a cocktail shaker and pour in the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. 
  2. Give everything a good shake until it’s super cold. 
  3. Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in the cocktail mixture. 
  4. Top up with soda water before garnishing with the lemon slice and maraschino cherry. 

12. Amaretto Sour

Homemade Amaretto Sour Drink

If you love the taste of both amaretto and lemon, and you’ve been wondering how to combine them, meet your new favorite drink – the Amaretto Sour!

This tangy, sweet drink is a popular choice and can be found on cocktail bar menus all over the world, but it’s also very easy to make at home.

Here’s how to make an Amaretto Sour:

Ingredients:

  • Amaretto – 1 ½ oz
  • Bourbon whiskey – ½ oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 oz
  • Simple syrup – 1 tsp
  • 1 egg white
  • Angostura bitters – 2 dashes
  • Lemon slice and Luxardo cherry to garnish

Method:

  1. Pop the egg white in a cocktail shaker followed by the amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice, and angostura bitters. 
  2. Shake for 15 seconds, then remove the lid and fill with ice.
  3. Replace the lid and shake again for a further 30 seconds. 
  4. Strain this shaken-up cocktail mixture into a short glass.
  5. Garnish with the lemon slice and luxardo cherry, and serve.

13. Whiskey Smash

Whiskey Smash Drink with mint and lemon

While most lemon-themed cocktails look like summer, the Whiskey Smash has a definite look of fall about it.

Its orange glow and tangy taste make it the perfect drink for relaxing in your garden, wrapped in a blanket and watching those first leaves fall to the ground. It’s also quick and easy to put together. 

Here’s how to make a Whiskey Smash:

Ingredients:

  • Whiskey – 2 oz
  • Simple syrup – 1 oz
  • 5 mint leaves
  • ¼ of a lemon, sliced into 2 wedges
  • Soda water
  • Crushed ice

Method:

  1. Put the two lemon wedges into a cocktail shaker along with the mint and muddle to extract the flavor of each ingredient.
  2. Next, fill the shaker with ice and pour in the whisky and simple syrup. 
  3. Shake until everything is well-chilled.
  4. Strain into a short cocktail glass that’s filled with crushed ice.
  5. Add a splash of soda water, serve, and enjoy!

14. Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver

Despite its seemingly ghoulish name, there’s nothing scary about a Corpse Reviver. In fact, it’s one of the tastiest lemon cocktails you’ll ever try.

It’s also not a very common addition to cocktail bar menus, so it’s one you can use to impress friends and family and your next dinner party.

Here’s how to make a Corpse Reviver:

Ingredients:

  • Gin – 1 oz
  • Cointreau – 1 oz
  • Dry vermouth – 1 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 oz
  • Absinthe – ½ teaspoon
  • Twist of orange peel to garnish

Method:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the gin, Cointreau, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and absinthe.
  2. Shake for 30 seconds until extremely cold and strain into a cocktail glass. 
  3. Garnish with the orange twist and serve. 

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Written by Brian N

Brian has been an influencer in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. He not only loves to eat and drink at restaurants on a regular basis, he also knows the business inside and out.