Lemon Drop Mocktail

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This refreshing lemon drop mocktail is perfect for anything from a Friday night Netflix-And-Chill session, to a decadent holiday table.

This easy recipe comes together in mere minutes! It’s great for a hot summer evening or a chilly New Year’s Eve party, and you’ll even be able to drive after drinking a few! Plus, the kids will love this. They’ll just think they are drinking a fancy lemonade.

A vertical shot of two glasses filled with Lemon Drop Mocktail and garnished with lemon slices.

What Is A Lemon Drop Cocktail?

A classic lemon drop cocktail recipe is typically made with vodka. The flavor is not unlike one of those hard candies of the same name. It has lemon juice and usually simple syrup along with any citrus-flavored liqueur the bartender cares to add. It’s also a great drink to have with dessert!

Who Invented The Lemon Drop Cocktail?

The Lemon Drop first squeezed to life in San Francisco sometime during the 1970s. Its inventor, Norman Jay Hobday, an out-of-work Vietnam vet turned saloon owner, is also credited with opening the country’s first fern bar, a concept that mixed house plants and Tiffany lamps with throngs of upwardly mobile urbanites.

Liquor.com

What Is A Mocktail?

Mocktails are non-alcoholic drinks meant to be very similar to the regular version of an alcoholic drink. It’s all the flavor, without the need to give up your keys at the end of the night. Non-alcholic drinks are becoming more and more popular as people realize they don’t have to get smashed with a ton of alcohol to have a great time. There is a better way to celebrate and keep your wits about you at the same time.

What Type Of Glass Should You Serve A Lemon Drop Mocktail In?

A lemon drop is typically served in a martini glass with a garnish of lemon zest or a lemon wedge or wheel. That being said, you can serve a mocktail in whatever type of glass you prefer to serve it in. (As you can see from my photos). But if you want to look like you are partaking, a martini glass is the way to go.

If you opt to not use a martini glass, then some sort of tall glass is best, especially if you want your drink on the rocks. About the only glass I would avoid here is a shot glass. Nobody is going to be doing any lemon drop shots with this one. Ha!

An up close shot of one of two glasses filled with Lemon Drop Mocktail.

My Lemon Drop Is Too Tart

If your lemon drop tastes too tart for you, the best way to reduce the tartness is to stir in a bit more plain soda water.

My Lemon Drop Is Not Tart Enough

In this case, simply stir in a bit more lemon juice.

My Lemon Drop Is Bland

For this, you can add more lemon juice and more sweetener. Basically, anything but more soda water.

My Lemon Drop Is Too Sweet

If your lemon drop is too sweet, simply add more lemon juice and sparkling water. The sweetness is totally adjustable. That being said, this is supposed to be pretty sweet. Think of the lemon drop hard candies. That’s basically the level of sweetness most people expect from a lemon drop cocktail or mocktail.

Using A Cocktail Shaker

If you happen to have a cocktail shaker, this is an easy drink to make. Plus, you don’t have to worry about ice cubes in a martini glass, or you can easily pour over fresh ice. Just shake, strain, and pour as if you were making a lemon drop martini recipe.

Other Options

Try making this with fresh lime juice or any kind of citrus juice for a delicious lime drop instead! Pineapple juice or orange juice are other fun options.

Keto Lemon Drop

If you are following a keto eating plan, this is easily made keto-friendly by switching the sweetener to a low carb sweetener. Give it a try!

Vegan Lemon Drop

This can also be made vegan by using maple syrup or some other vegan sweetener. Easy!

Other Eating Styles

This drink is naturally gluten-free and dairy free. In fact, unless you are allergic to citrus, there aren’t too many people who can’t enjoy this drink!

A side view of two glasses, lined up and filled with Lemon Drop Mocktail.

Lemon Drop Mocktail Ingredients

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice – You can use fresh squeezed or bottled, but fresh-squeezed definitely tastes best.

1 tbsp. honey – You can also use 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup or pure liquid stevia to taste for low carb.

12 oz. can sparkling water – You can also use club soda or any sparkling water you prefer. Even ginger ale works great (Zevia is a good brand that is sweetened with stevia instead of sugar – Not paid to promote them.)

Cocktail ice – This is optional, but it’s best to serve this as cold as possible.

Granular sweetener – Optional, for garnishing the edge of the glass. Simply dip the rim of the glass in water and then dip it into a dish of granular sweetener for a decorated edge.

Fresh lemon zest – For garnish. You can grate this or use a vegetable peeler to get bigger pieces of lemon. I like it grated because it gives a very tart lemon flavor, but it’s great the other way too. You can also peel the lemon rind to get a lemon twist if you prefer.

Garnish – Think lemon slices, lemon wedges, and lemon zest!

How To Make A Lemon Drop Mocktail

A zested and juice lemon on a cutting board next to a manual lemon juicer.

Zest and juice a lemon.

Pouring honey into a measuring spoon over two empty glasses.

Measure the sweetener into the glasses.

Pouring sparkling water into two glasses.

Pour a can of sparkling water into each glass.

Pouring fresh squeezed lemon juice into a measuring spoon.

Add the lemon juice and stir.

Adding ice cubes to two glasses filled with this Lemon Drop Mocktail Recipe.

Add ice cubes as needed.

Adding lemon garnish to to glasses filled with this Lemon Drop Mocktail Recipe.

Garnish the glasses and enjoy.

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Lemon Drop Mocktail Recipe

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An up close shot of one of two glasses filled with Lemon Drop Mocktail.

Lemon Drop Mocktail Recipe

A sweet, refreshing mocktail that is appropriate for most special occasions!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 67kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 24 oz. can sparkling water (or club soda)
  • cocktail ice
  • granular sweetener (optional for rimming the glass)
  • fresh lemon zest (optional but delicious!)

Instructions

  • Zest and juice a lemon.
    A zested and juice lemon on a cutting board next to a manual lemon juicer.
  • Measure the sweetener into the glasses.
    Pouring honey into a measuring spoon over two empty glasses.
  • Pour a can of sparkling water into each glass.
    Pouring sparkling water into two glasses.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir.
    Pouring fresh squeezed lemon juice into a measuring spoon.
  • Add ice cubes as needed.
    Adding ice cubes to two glasses filled with this Lemon Drop Mocktail Recipe.
  • Garnish the glasses and enjoy.
    Adding lemon garnish to to glasses filled with this Lemon Drop Mocktail Recipe.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5the recipe | Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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