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lemon drops are falling on my head

Recipe: lemon drop martini

Wooooohooo! I can’t tell you how happy I am to have the food photography workshop website and registration completed (thanks for your help, Andrew)! I am so jazzed and humbled to be working with three dear friends whose photography and cooking/baking have inspired me from day one: Helen Dujardin of Tartelette and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple. For those of you interested in attending, hop on over to the Food and Light website to register. Space is limited to 30 and I have no idea how quickly (or slowly) it will fill up. If you have any questions, do ask me soon as I will be mostly out of communication April 12-14.

The last of the Death Valley photos are done and posted. I am on a roll, kids. Plowing through the list of things to do…

life in death valley

marble slot canyon

blue skies over badlands

sunset on zabriskie point

As promised, I have this absolutely delightful lemon drop martini to share with you. When I first uncorked a bottle of my Buddha’s hand citron vodka, I stood sniffing the magical perfume that emanated from the opening. I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I like to play with the booze. Jeremy is the one who drinks it. He hovered around me asking what we could possibly make with it.

how about a martini?

a twist on a lemon drop martini

I had leftover Meyer lemons on hand as well as a big jar of grapefruit-infused syrup from that ridiculous (but delicious) candied grapefruit experiment. Our little bartender’s guide had a basic lemon drop martini recipe. I swapped the Buddha’s hand citron vodka for regular citron vodka, Meyer lemon for regular lemon, and the grapefruit syrup for plain sugar. How could it not be fan-freaking-tastic? [Sorry about the band-aid in the photo.]

wipe the rim of the glass with a wedge of lemon before dipping in sugar

squeeze the lemon wedge over ice

It was love at first sip. I couldn’t possibly take more than a few sips before the room began to spin at a different rate from my brain, but Jeremy was hooked. He had a new favorite cocktail. When I hosted the Food, Inc. potluck, we served lemon drop martinis before dinner. More LDM enthusiasts! Because I’m OCD, I only rub the inside rim of the martini glass with the lemon wedge as I don’t want sugar on the outside of the glass shaking off all around my house. Sadly, we are now down to our last precious bottle of the Buddha’s hand citron vodka. We didn’t drink it all – I gave half of the bottles away as gifts. Whole Foods in Boulder was supposed to get back to me about ordering more Buddha’s hand, but I’m still waiting…

pour in the syrup and vodka

strain into the glass

If you have large martini glasses like we do, you will probably want to double the recipe or else the person you serve the drink to will think you slurped half of it up before giving it to them (not an unreasonable assumption). The combination of floral and citrus aromas from the Buddha’s hand, Meyer lemon, and grapefruit will lull you into a daydream of lazy summer gardens in full bloom with fat, happy bumble bees buzzing about. This is a total keeper of a recipe.

that’s a glass of sunshine right there

Lemon Drop Martini
[print recipe]

enough sugar for dipping the rim of the martini glass
1/4 Meyer lemon
2 oz. Buddha’s Hand Citron-infused vodka or other citron vodka
1 tbsp grapefruit-infused simple syrup or make a 1:1 sugar:water simple syrup

Simple syrup: To make simple syrup combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and let boil for a minute. Turn off the heat. Let cool completely. Pour into a glass jar and store covered in the refrigerator.

Place the sugar in a bowl slightly larger than the mouth of the martini glass. Take the wedge of Meyer lemon and rub it along the inside rim of the glass. (The reason I run it on the inside is because I don’t want sugar dropping all over my house. If you like the effect of having it on both sides, then go ahead and run the wedge along the rim of the glass.) Turn the glass over and dip the rim in the sugar bowl. Shake off access and set aside. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Squeeze the wedge of Meyer lemon over the ice. Add the citron vodka and the simple syrup. Cap the shaker and shake (the longer you shake, the more dilute). Strain into martini glass. Makes a small martini. If you have large martini glasses, you may want to double the recipe.

30 nibbles at “lemon drops are falling on my head”

  1. Memoria says:

    I don’t drink alcohol, but this is a lovely drink. Congrats on finishing up the site! I’m sure the workshop will be fantastic and informative.

  2. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Ditto to above! The Badlands are gorgeous, aren’t they? Beautiful pictures!

  3. LoveFeast Table says:

    If only we lived closer…we would so be at your workshop!! You’re shots are amazing an make our pale in comparison!! Please say you’ll post some tips here!
    ~kristin and chris ann

  4. Fiona says:

    It never occurred to me that wiping only the inside would keep sugar off the floor. Does that reveal that I’m a slob? I guess so.

    But: yum!

  5. Phoo-D says:

    Count me in for the class! I can’t wait to get back to Colorado in the summer. (Though with the late spring snow dumps you are getting, I wish I was back already!) Love your photo of the slot canyon- gorgeous textures.

  6. Rose @ The Bite Me Kitchen says:

    YUM! Looks wonderful. I love, love, love lemon drops martinis! Your photography and blog never cease to inspire me. I wish I could join you for your workshop.

  7. jackie says:

    i am going to make this the minute i am not pregnant anymore! i also think it would be delightful with a mint simple syrup, too. maybe even other herbs… rosemary, perhaps?

  8. cali says:

    oooh these photos are gorgeous!!

    …mmm… lemons in the summer… perfect!

  9. kathy says:

    Great photos! That lemon drop martini looks refreshing… :-)

  10. Stefanie says:

    that looks SO delicious – i’d love to have one now here at my desk!

  11. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    Oh dear, I need to make one of those tonight and maybe tomorrow night, but most certainly on Saturday night!

  12. Kathleen says:

    Beautiful photographs! I want to come over to your house for happy hour!

  13. Jenny says:

    What a lovely sounding cocktail, I may just have one tonight to celebrate finishing our taxes!

    I’m so bummed I cant make your photography class, I have a wedding that weekend :(

    I hope it goes so well that you decide to do it again.

  14. Lindsey says:

    So sad that Boulder isn’t closer to Durham, NC. The workshop sounds amazing. I hope it goes fabulously!

  15. Bridget says:

    Ha, last week I wanted a fun cocktail and I was out of limes for my normal vodka gimlet. I was like, hm, I wonder if I can make a cocktail with vodka, simple syrup, and lemons instead of limes. Then I realized that was just a lemon drop and I felt silly. And I was too busy prepping for a big dinner to squeeze lemons anyway, so I ended up drinking a beer.

    Of course now I only want the super fancy lemon drop martini anyway.

  16. Ruth Ann says:

    The Lemon Drop Martini looks soooo good! I want one now. Love the idea of the grapefruit syrup from your candied grapefruit experiment. Cheers!

  17. Nan @ tastingoutloud says:

    This looks absolute-ly (pun intended as it’s my only citron vodka option — currently — but I have plans) delicious! I have some grapefruit that need a job so this will be their destiny. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  18. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Thanks for making me crave booze at 8 in the morning! Looks sooooo refreshing!

  19. Jill says:

    Oh this looks fantastic. I must make them for my next summer party.

  20. Kath says:


    Your pictures are so drop dead gorgeous!

  21. diva says:

    What a pretty martini and it’s just perfect for this spring/summer weather now. yum

  22. Nicole, RD says:

    3 hours til happy hour! And I want one of thooooose!

  23. Y says:

    Wooooo that looks refreshing!

  24. 6512 and growing says:

    I’ve never had a martini (being more of a beer girl). This may be my first.

  25. Kim says:

    What a beautiful drink. I don’t drink a lot of sweet martinis, preferring the simple gin classic or a sake-tini, but this has me planning an infusion experiment of my own!

  26. Julia says:

    These are beautiful photos!

  27. Mrs Ergül says:

    Jen! You are so good at changing the recipes and making them rock even more!

  28. Caitlin says:

    Everything about this post is gorgeous – the photography at the beginning, the sunshine in a glass at the end. And now I feel an urge to make infused vodkas, even though the room starts spinning veerrry quickly if I make things like lemon drops…

  29. jenyu says:

    LoveFeast Table – that’s a bummer. I wish you guys could attend. We won’t be giving tips per se in the workshop. It’s mostly fundamentals and instruction on how to think and evolve your photography.

    Phoo-D – I hope we’ll see you!

    Jackie – yes, I’ve seen cocktails with lemon and rosemary before – looked awesome.

    Jenny – we will miss you :( But have fun at the wedding!

    Kim – infusions are fun, aren’t they?! :)

    Caitlin – you can make things like lemon drops without the room spinning. It’s the drinking of the lemon drop martinis that makes the room spin! ha ha.

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