Vintage Cellars

Whisper hello limoncello and sip on a lemon drop martini

Yes, you love sipping it after a meal at your favourite Italian restaurant, and now limoncello gets a modern makeover in this martini twist cocktail.

Yes, you love sipping it after a meal at your favourite Italian restaurant, and now limoncello gets a modern makeover in this martini twist cocktail.


There’s no better proof that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication than the martini. This drink is the definition of simple (but tasty), a cocktail traditionally crafted from just gin and vermouth, and perhaps if you’re feeling fancy, topped with a lemon twist or olive. A beverage made famous by James Bond (you know he likes his shaken, not stirred) has found a resurgence thanks to its crisp concoction of flavours, which famously embrace the bitter end of the spectrum. If you’re not quite that way inclined, this lemon drop martini recipe sweetens the deal. It sees the vodka martini shaken with a zesty craft limoncello made here in Australia on the Mornington Peninsula, with a conservative splash of sugar syrup thrown in for good measure.

How to make a lemon drop martini

Ingredients (Serves 1)

30ml 23rd Street Australian Vodka

30ml Bass & Flinders Limoncello

15ml Lemon Fresh Lemon Juice

15ml Cawsey’s Sugar Syrup

Ice cubes, to serve

Lemon slice, to serve



1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, limoncello, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Shake until well combined and chilled.

2. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon slice.



To make your own sugar syrup, place ½ cup (110g) caster sugar and ½ cup (125mL) water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

The history of the martini

Before savouring this recipe for a lemon drop martini (also known as a limoncello martini), it pays to know how to make a decent martini in its purest form. The martini was originally a drink that married together gin and vermouth (thanks to ample illegal gin manufacturing during the Prohibition era) with a minimalist garnish. But since the 1950s, there’s been a resurgence in popularity of the vodka martini. Keep in mind that a quality vodka makes all the difference when it comes to this cocktail (or any cocktail for that matter), so don’t scrimp on the good stuff. Australia is no stranger to good vodka – in fact, the nation is home to a slew of award winners, including 23rd Street Australian Vodka. This is vodka that’s been distilled five times and charcoal filtered, featuring Australian sugarcane molasses mixed with rainwater. Think exceptionally smooth and naturally slightly sweet.

Go local for your limoncello

The star of the show in this lemon drop martini is of course limoncello, a spirit that may not typically be associated with cocktails, but rather a tipple enjoyed solo after a feast of pasta and pizza. It’s generally agreed that this Italian liqueur was born back in the early 20th century at a guesthouse with an adjoining bar on the Amalfi Coast, where lemons flourish on the rocky coastline. Lemons, of course, form the base of the spirit, with limoncello made from peels steeped in vodka, which are then tossed in with sugar syrup. These days you’ll find local limoncellos made all over the world – even in Australia. We’ve used Bass & Flinders Limoncello for this lemon drop martini recipe, a refreshing liqueur crafted in Victoria from organic lemon zest and sweet spring water.

Like this? You’ll want to try these too

Want more vodka cocktail ideas? Try the lemon love cocktail – topped up with elderflower tonic, it’s a refreshing long drink. If you prefer your drinks a little less zesty than this limoncello-based martini, you may want to stick to the original – try our classic vodka martini recipe alongside a cluster of other vodka-based drinking ideas. Or embrace the tropical themes of this Japanese vodka-based pineapple punch. Talking of pineapple, why not try a blue Hawaiian cocktail made with 23rd Street Distillery’s signature gin – hot tip: give it a go with the vodka too.


Products featured are available from 12/04/23 to 16/05/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.