Lemon Shot Recipe

5 from 6 votes
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Lemon drop shots are an easy, classic drink. Made with fresh lemon juice, cold vodka, and a little bit of sugar, this lemon drop shot recipe is a keeper.

If you like simple, sweet cocktails, be sure to try this Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shot made with Rumchata.

Lemon Drop Shot in shot glass with lemon wedge


Why you’ll enjoy Lemon Shots

  • Only 3 simple ingredients needed.
  • A delicious mix of sweet and sour.
  • Quick and easy to make.

What’s in a Lemon Drop Shot?

  • Fresh lemon juice – I highly recommend using fresh real lemon juice. It makes a big difference in the taste of the shot. I also recommend Meyer lemons if you can find them. They have a sweet, less tart taste. Make sure to remove any seeds.
  • Sugar – Use granulated sugar to rim the glass and to add to the drink mixture. You could use a sugar cube, but I prefer the granulated so that it disperses in the drink.
  • Vodka – Feel free to use your favorite vodka or good quality vodka. You can even use lemon flavored vodka for enhanced lemon flavor. I used 5 Sisters but Ketel One, Tito’s, Grey Goose, and Absolut Citron Vodka are great choices.

Lemon Shot variations

Pink Lemon Drop – Add 2 ounces of cranberry juice to the mixture.

Strawberry Lemon Drop – Add a tablespoon of strained, pureed strawberries to the mixture.

Lemon Drop with sweet and sour mix – Add an ounce of sweet and sour mix to the drink.

Blueberry Lemon Drop – Add blueberry Schnapps.

Equipment needed to make Lemon Shots

Using a cocktail shaker will help to cool off and combine the ingredients. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker you can use a Mason jar with a lid. A strainer is also nice to help prevent the ice cubes from dropping into the shot glass.

How to make Lemon Drop Shots for a crowd

Scroll to bottom for full, printable recipe, ingredients and video.

  1. Rim glass: Place sugar in a small bowl or plate. Dip the rim of the shot glass in water and then in sugar.
  2. Shaker: Add ice cubes, remaining sugar, fresh lemon juice and vodka to shaker. Give it a good shake several times before pouring.
  3. Pour: Pour mixture into prepared shot glass and serve. You can also serve with a lemon slice for garnish.
Bowl of sugar, lemons, vodka

How to Rim a Glass With Sugar

Rim your glass by either rubbing the rim with lemon or dipping it in water. Next dip the rim in sugar.

How to make Lemon Drop Shooters for a crowd

Have a crowd? Making a large batch of lemon drop shots is easy.

  1. Add a few ice cubes to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour in 1 cup of chilled vodka.
  3. Pour in 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
  4. Add in 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  5. Shake for 10-15 seconds and serve.

Lemon Drop Shot Recipe Tips

  • If I know I’m going to be making these shots, I like to stick the vodka in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 minutes – 1 hour to get the vodka extra chilled.
  • If using a sugar cube, place the cube in the shot glass and pour vodka, lemon juice mixture over top.
  • If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, stir the sugar, lemon juice, and vodka together in a larger glass or large measuring glass and then pour into the shot glasses.
  • This recipe makes 2 shots, to get 4 servings double the recipe or to make a lemon drop cocktail.

Lemon Shots garnishing ideas

Try adding a garnish to take these shots to the next level. Here are a few ideas:

  • Place a lemon drop candy into the shot.
  • Rim the glass with sugar or salt.
  • Add a slice of lemon.

Lemon Shots with Limoncello

If you would prefer a more intense lemon flavor, add a splash of Limoncello to the mixture with the vodka. Limoncello is an Italian liqueur with strong lemon flavor.

Lemon Shot With Simple Syrup

To make this lemon drop drink using simple syrup, replace the granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons of simple syrup.

Make homemade simple syrup by heating 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Shot glass with vodka and lemon wedge

More cocktail recipes

More shot recipes

Love lemon? Be sure to try these amazing lemon dessert recipes

Let me know if you made this vodka lemon drop in the comments below.

Glass with vodka and lemon.
5 from 6 votes

Lemon Drops Shot

By Heather
Easy to make lemon drop shot recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ice For the shaker.


  • Place sugar on a small plate or small bowl. Dip the rim of shot glass in water and then in the sugar to coat the rim in sugar.
  • Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour in remaining sugar from the plate, vodka and lemon juice.
  • Shake about 10-12 shakes and then pour into shot glasses. Serve cold.


YouTube video


If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, simply stir together sugar, vodka and lemon juice in a large glass and then pour into shot glasses. 


Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
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