The Lemon Drop Martini

A 70’s Classic

The lemon drop martini is a more stylish version of the popular shot. This drink is too good just to down in one. It was invented some time in the 1970’s by Norman Jay Hobday (1933-2011), owner of Henry Africa’s Bar in San Francisco. The story goes that Hobday had little money to renovate the bar, so he started bringing in plants to decorate the place. One of his customer’s called it a “Fern Bar” and the name stuck. The Fern Bar trend grew in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Who remembers The San Francisco Rose on Lower Greeneville Avenue in Dallas in the mid eighties? It may even still be there.

Any way, we kept the ingredients really simple for our version, with just the vodka, triple sec and fresh squeezed lemon juice, shaken and double strained into a martini glass. Some recipes include simple syrup infused with lemon juice, or a sour mix, but we wanted ours fresh. The taste is very refreshing, but the Triple Sec added some bitterness. Next time we’ll use Cointreau instead.


We used Three Olives vodka, mainly because it is English and distilled with English wheat. Three Olives was founded in 1998 by Guillaume Cuvelier, who also created SVEDKA vodka, but is now owned by  Proximo Spirits. It is on the lower end of the spectrum in regard to price, but for mixed drinks this is not a problem as long as your other ingredients are fresh.

Anyway, give this one a try for a refreshingly tasty martini.




1.5 oz Three Olives Vodka (unflavored)
1oz Triple Sec
1oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Shaken with ice and double strained into a sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or wedge.

DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the products mentioned. All claims are made in good faith and no affiliation to the products mentioned is inferred or implied. Must be over 21 years of age to drink in the United States. Please drink responsibly.