We’ve had some very hot days this summer with the heat index climbing as high as 105 or higher. The kids may be selling lemonade at the corner stand, but a real thirst quencher for adults is a Lemon Drop with a twist. Lemon Drop cocktails have usually been too sweet and grainy for my taste, so I’ve strayed away from them in the past. But lately I’ve been playing around with them a bit. Mmmm….my mouth is watering already just thinking of making this drink.
If you order a Lemon Drop in a bar it is typically made as a shot or shooter with a sugared lemon wedge. It may be served as simply as a shot glass rimmed with granulated sugar, filled with citron vodka and a lemon wedge on the side or a lemon wedge dipped in granulated sugar as well. The patron licks the sugar, sucks the lemon and shoots the citron vodka. In my opinion, there is little fuss about it and also little to make it worth coming back for. So, instead of making a shot of it, let’s make a cocktail out of it and make it worth drinking. This one is so thirst quenching you may still be tempted to throw back a few, though.
Let me address the granulated sugar rather quickly. Working with granulated sugar in cocktails like the Lemon Drop which is shaken or a Mojito which is muddled, you will find that the sugar does not dissolve like expected. That makes for a gritty drink going down and residue left over in the bottom of the glass. Neither is very attractive. It takes a great amount of time and patience to finally get sugar to melt into other liquids. So, instead of using granulated sugar as some cocktail recipes call for, try either making your own simple sugar syrup or there is a great product on the market by Collins called Bar Syrup.
It is relatively easy to make your own sugar syrup. It is two parts sugar to one part water. Heat the water in a saucepan on the stove to a simmer. Gradually stir in the sugar. Continue stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from the stove and allow mixture to cool completely. The mixture must be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for two to three weeks. Since the homemade syrup does eventually go bad due to mold, the Collins Bar Syrup is an excellent product since it does not have to be refrigerated after being opened making storage very handy. You can find Collins Bar Syrup at your local liquor store or online.
Raspberry Lemon Drop
2 oz Ciroc Vodka
Juice of One Freshly Squeezed Lemon
½ oz Collins Bar Syrup
¼ oz – ½ oz Mathilde Liqueur Framboise (Chambord may be substituted)
1 Lemon Wheel (remove seeds)
In a cocktail shaker combine Ciroc Vodka, lemon juice, and Collins Bar Syrup. Fill shaker 1/3 full with ice. Shake 15 – 20 seconds. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass. Gently float the lemon wheel on top of the cocktail drink mixture. Very carefully pour the Mathilde Liqueur Framboise onto the lemon wheel only. Some of course will filter through, but be careful not to stir it into the drink to allow for a nice layering effect. Enjoy!
This makes a beautiful drink. The raspberry liqueur continually sinks to the bottom of the glass giving the illusion of a rather plump looking raspberry at the bottom. You could even garnish this drink with a skewer of fresh raspberries if you would like. The last third of the drink is where the lemon wheel and raspberry liqueur start working together for an extra burst of flavor. Again, my mouth is watering. I think I’ll have to go make one now.