Fresh lemon juice is one of the most popular ingredients to add to cocktails, so we thought it would be fun to pull together a list of lemon cocktails.
There’s something so enticing about the contrast of sweet and sour. As kids, we loved this quality in our candies. My favorites were Lemonheads and warheads. And then, as we grew older, we came to enjoy this quality in certain cocktails that carry an extra kick along with sweet and sour flavors.
There are tons of lemon juice cocktails on the internet, and you can find recipes for everything from the lemon drop cocktail to a bourbon lemonade.
Then there are the classic lemon juice cocktails, such as the whiskey sour and the Cosmopolitan.
As summer heats up, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing lemon cocktail to quench your thirst and lift your spirits. With their perfect balance of zesty tang and sweet notes, lemon-based drinks are a popular choice for both casual and formal gatherings. Whether you’re soaking up the sun by the pool or hosting a dinner party, these delightful libations are sure to please your palate and impress your guests.
To explore the world of lemon cocktails, you don’t need to be a mixologist or have a bar stocked with obscure ingredients. In fact, many of these delightful concoctions can be easily made using just a few staple items from your pantry, fridge, or liquor cabinet. From timeless classics like the lemon drop martini to innovative twists on old favorites, there’s no shortage of delightful recipes for you to experiment with.
As you embark on your lemon cocktail journey, remember that the key to a great drink lies in using high-quality, fresh ingredients. This is especially important when it comes to your star element – the lemon. Choose bright, plump fruits with a smooth, thin skin, and squeeze just before use to ensure maximum freshness and flavor. With this in mind, it’s time to raise your glass and toast to the unparalleled joy of lemon cocktails.
But how about some of the more unique citrus cocktails? For example, a Long Island Iced Tea is a long-time favorite, and the French 75 is a classic lemon drink recipe.
For special occasions in your life, you can make a lemonade cocktail recipe such as St. Germain Champagne Cocktail, and a Tom Collins Cocktail is a favorite lemon drink recipe.
When you create lemon cocktails, you get a refreshing cocktail that even adds a jolt of vitamin C to your day. What’s not to love about fresh lemon juice cocktails?
Are you ready to dive into these 22 yummy lemon cocktails? Let’s go!
When you’re looking for an easy lemon cocktail using vodka, this lemon vodka cocktail will give you all the refreshment you’re craving.
This lemon vodka cocktail is super light and refreshing, and it’s a great lemon cocktail to serve to guests on a hot summer afternoon or evening.
If you like a sparkly cocktail, you can use club soda (soda water) to make this fun fruity vodka cocktail.
The other ingredients are vodka, orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Cointreau), sugar, and fresh lemon juice.
To make this vodka cocktail sweeter, you can use sugar to make simple syrup. You can also buy simple syrup already made up. Simple syrup mix is located with the other mixers at the grocery store or liquor store.
Serve this lemon juice cocktail in a cocktail glass with a sugar rim over ice cubes or crushed ice.
2. Tequila Sour
If you love margaritas but want something a little different, try the tequila sour.
To make a tequila sour, you need good tequila, fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup (or agave syrup), an egg white, and Angostura bitters.
Garnish your tequila sour with a lime wedge, lemon wedge, and a maraschino cherry.
If you want a lemony cocktail that is citrus-forward, the White Lady cocktail is for you.
The White Lady cocktail originated in the 1920s, and this cocktail is super classy for enjoying in the evening time or for serving to guests.
A White Lady cocktail should always have a frothy egg white as a topping.
Garnish the White Lady cocktail with a lemon wheel or lemon slice.
Amaretto is a beloved almond-flavored liqueur, and one way to use it is to make an Amaretto Sour.
When it’s made with fresh lemon juice, an Amaretto Sour is sweet and tangy.
Although a sweet and sour mix definitely has its uses, an Amaretto Sour is much better when made with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup.
You can also make a classic white foam egg topping to make your Amaretto Sour, along with Angostura bitters.
Here’s a secret ingredient to the Amaretto Sour: a touch of bourbon. When you add a tiny bit of bourbon to your Amaretto Sour, you’ll find this classic lemon cocktail to be much smoother.
How about a gin cocktail that’s zingy and springy? The Tom Collins is a classic cocktail that never fails to attract attention.
You make a Tom Collins with fresh lemon juice, gin, simple syrup, and club soda (soda water).
Garnish your Tom Collins with a lemon wedge or lemon wheel. Also, don’t forget the trademark Tom Collins cherry. You can use a Luxardo cherry or a maraschino cherry for a Tom Collins.
One of the most beloved lemon alcohol drink recipes, the Gin Fizz cocktail has been around since the 1870s at least.
To make the Gin Fizz cocktail, you need a good-quality gin, fresh lemon juice, an egg white, club soda (soda water), and simple syrup. Alternatively, you can use maple syrup to sweeten your Gin Fizz.
Garnish your classic Gin Fizz cocktail with a lemon twist or a lemon peel.
7. Lemon Drop
The lemon drop cocktail is another vodka cocktail, and the lemon drop is named after the beloved lemon drop candy we all know and love.
Using an orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Triple Sec gives the lemon drop cocktail the perfect balance between sweet and tart. The bright sweetness added by the Cointreau is delightful and makes the perfect lemon drop.
Put all of your ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and shake vigorously. Strain the lemon drop into a martini glass, rocks glass, or other stemmed cocktail glass.
Be sure to use sanding sugar to give your delicious cocktail a sugar rim.
Garnish the lemon drop with a lemon twist.
When you want an upscale version of the whiskey sour, you can have a New York Sour.
What’s the difference between a whiskey sour and a New York sour? Essentially, a New York Sour has a layer of delicious red wine floating on top, and optionally, a layer of foamy egg white.
To make the New York Sour, you need premium-quality bourbon whiskey, fresh lemon juice, maple syrup (or simple syrup), and some good red wine.
Be sure to shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Also known as the Kentucky lemonade, a bourbon lemonade (bourbon cocktail) is just as refreshing and complex as you would imagine.
This bourbon lemonade has a spicy whiskey finish and the refreshing zing of fresh lemon juice.
To sweeten your bourbon lemonade, you don’t have to make simple syrup. You can just combine the sugar with some warm water until it’s dissolved.
To make the lemonade portion, add the lemon juice and cold water into a pitcher. Then mix in the simple syrup and bourbon.
Serve your bourbon lemonade over ice cubes or crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a lemon wheel.
Because Limoncello has such a strong lemon flavor, this Limoncello martini is what to try when you’re wanting an intensely lemon cocktail.
The Limoncello martini is made with vodka, so it’s another great vodka cocktail. Sometimes you will see a Limoncello martini referred to as a lemon drop martini.
How is this lemon cocktail different from a lemon drop? This lemon cocktail has Limoncello, a popular liqueur from Italy.
To make a Limoncello martini, you need good-quality vodka, fresh lemon juice, Limoncello, and simple syrup.
Garnish your Limoncello martini with lemon wedges or a lemon peel.
When you want a classic cocktail that’s perfect for special occasions and celebrations, the famous French 75 cocktail is what you can reach for.
Where did the clever name “French 75” come from? This name is from a field gun called the French 75mm, so it indicates that the French 75 cocktail is probably nice and powerful.
To make a French 75, you need good gin, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and champagne. You can opt to use a sparkling wine such as Cava or Prosecco.
When you want one of the oldest lemon juice cocktails, the whiskey sour is the one to try.
The whiskey sour dates all the way back to the early 1870s, and this lemon juice cocktail has been around for this long because it’s delicious and has complex flavors.
To make the whiskey sour, you need a good bourbon whiskey. Buy the best quality you can afford, and your taste buds will thank you.
Other ingredients in a whiskey sour are fresh lemon juice and maple syrup (for sweetener). You can use simple syrup if you prefer.
For an authentic whiskey sour, top the cocktail with a frothy foam topping made with an egg white.
You can make a whiskey sour with a whiskey sour mix (we like Mr. & Mrs. T’s Sweet and Sour) if you’re short on time or want an easy solution.
Garnish your classic whiskey sour with a Luxardo cherry or maraschino cherry and an orange peel.
If you love gin, you’re going to be delighted by yet another gin cocktail: the Southside cocktail.
One way to understand how the Southside cocktail tastes is to think of it like a mojito made with gin.
The Southside cocktail is botanical, fresh, and minty, all at the same time.
You can use either maple syrup or simple syrup to sweeten the Southside cocktail. You also need good-quality gin, fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, and fresh mint leaves.
Want to make the Southside even more interesting? Add club soda and you have a Southside Fizz.
Garnish your Southside cocktail with fresh mint leaves and a lemon wedge (or lime wedge).
14. Corpse Reviver
The classic Corpse Reviver is also known as Corpse Reviver Number 2.
The implication is that this cocktail is so strong it will bring a corpse back from the dead.
The Corpse Reviver has been around for quite a while. In fact, it appeared in a classic recipe book called the Savoy Cocktail in 1930.
This lemon juice cocktail is made with gin, fresh lemon juice, Lillet Blanc or dry vermouth, Cointreau, and Absinthe.
Lillet Blanc is an aromatized wine that has flavors of citrus and herbs, making this cocktail super refreshing and aromatic.
You may find the corpse reviver to be similar to a classic Sidecar or a margarita.
Proceed with caution when you make a classic Long Island Iced Tea because it is a super boozy cocktail with a lot of lemon flavor.
The Long Island Iced Tea gets its name because when all of the liquor is mixed together with soda, it has a deep brown color that makes it look similar to iced tea.
Experts believe that the Long Island Iced Tea was first made on Long Island, New York in 1972. That’s how this classic cocktail got its name.
The Long Island Iced Tea has a whopping five liquors in it: tequila, vodka, white rum, Cointreau, and gin.
In addition to the liquor, the Long Island Iced Tea also has cola (Coca-Cola works) and fresh lemon juice.
Garnish a Long Island Iced Tea with a lemon wedge.
16. Vodka Lemonade
We love a good lemonade mixed drink, and what’s more refreshing than lemonade made with fresh lemons and fresh lemon juice?
When you spike your homemade lemonade with vodka, you know you’ve got a winning combination.
To make this homemade vodka lemonade, you don’t need to cook simple syrup on the stove. You can just mix the granulated sugar with some warm water to get it to dissolve.
Serve your fresh vodka lemonade over ice cubes or crushed ice.
Garnish your vodka lemonade with lemon slices and fresh mint leaves.
Limoncello is a super-strong lemon liqueur that is perfect for lemon juice cocktails.
It’s worth buying a bottle of Limoncello just so you can make a Limoncello mojito!
A mojito is a classic Cuban cocktail that traditionally uses fresh lime juice, lime wedges, fresh mint leaves, rum, and sugar.
To bring out all the flavors of the fresh mint leaves, you need to muddle them. Use a cocktail muddler for this.
One thing we do to really help release the oils from the fresh mint leaves is muddle the mint leaves with the lemon wedge or lime wedge (or fresh lemon juice) and sugar.
Serve your Limoncello mojito over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a lime wedge or lemon wedge.
St. Germain is an elderflower liqueur that has bursts of delightful floral flavor.
When you mix St. Germain with champagne, gin, and fresh lemon juice, you have the wonderful St. Germain Champagne cocktail.
It’s nice to have a bottle of St. Germain on-hand to make special occasion cocktails, and this cocktail made with champagne and St. Germain definitely qualifies as a cocktail you can whip out for celebrations.
You can serve the St. Germain Champagne mixed drink for holidays, brunch, Mother’s Day, bridal showers, and even for New Year’s Eve or a romantic dinner.
Are you looking for classic lemon drink alcohol cocktails? The Cosmopolitan, or Cosmo, is one of the best cocktails to enjoy for celebrations.
The Cosmopolitan cocktail was invented in the 1930s or the 1970s, and which story is true is hotly debated.
A classic Cosmopolitan has cranberry juice, Citron vodka, fresh lime juice, and Cointreau. However, this version with fresh lemon juice is even better.
Citron vodka adds tons of lemon flavor to the Cosmopolitan, and the cranberry juice is unsweetened. However, cranberry juice is naturally sweet.
You can use simple syrup to sweeten your Cosmo cocktail more, or maple syrup.
20. Whiskey Smash
Do you love a mint julep? If so, you might enjoy the Whiskey Smash.
The Whiskey Smash is another classic cocktail that dates back to the 1880s. We know this because the Whiskey Smash recipe was first published in a bartending book in 1887.
Put all of your ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake it. This will ensure that your Whiskey Smash is nice and cold.
Serve the Whiskey Smash over crushed ice or ice cubes. You’ll need to use a cocktail muddler to get the minty oil from the fresh mint leaves.
Garnish the Whiskey Smash with fresh mint leaves and a lemon wedge.
21. Lemon Margarita
Usually, margaritas are made with fresh limes and fresh lime juice, but you can also make a delicious margarita with fresh lemon juice.
This recipe for a lemon margarita has only four ingredients and it’s ready to go in minutes.
To make this lemon margarita, you need good tequila, Triple Sec or Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, and flaky sea salt for the rim of the cocktail glass.
Be sure to have a salted rim for your cocktail glass. It really brings out the flavor of the margarita.
Garnish your lemon margarita with a lemon wedge or lemon wheel.
When it comes to classic cocktails, the sidecar is one of the most beloved cocktails of all time.
Legend has it that in World War I, a U.S. Army captain rode in a motorcycle sidecar around Paris, France.
Apparently, the sidecar cocktail was created at Harry’s New York Bar (in Paris, France) and the bartender named the sidecar cocktail after the Army captain.
The world can rejoice about this Army captain because he inspired a wonderful fresh lemon juice cocktail that has stood the test of time.
Besides fresh lemon juice, a classic sidecar cocktail also calls for orange liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec) and cognac.
Do you want a bonus lemon cocktail recipe? Try a super fruity strawberry vodka lemonade cocktail. This lemon juice cocktail recipe combines the refreshing taste of lemon juice with tangy ripe strawberries. You can learn how to make this lemon cocktail in the video below.
Refreshing Lemon Cocktails (+Fresh Lime Tequila Sour)
- 4 oz silver tequila
- 4 oz egg white 2 large eggs
- 2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- Small pinch sea salt
- Crushed Ice
- Pour all ingredients, except ice, into cocktail shaker.
- Shake hard for 30 seconds.
- Add ice filling shaker 1/3, then shake 30 seconds.
- Strain and Serve.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.