Refreshing Limoncello Martini

Bright, cheery, & refreshing, a Limoncello Martini is a simple & elegant cocktail that’s perfect for New Year’s, Game Day, or any occasion.

Limoncello Martini

Lately I’ve been seriously into lemon cocktails.  Yes, this is a flavor that’s delicious all year round!

I figure that in summer, lemon is super refreshing.  And in winter, it feels like sunshine.  

This Limoncello Martini is made with just four ingredients: Limoncello (see below for more on this), vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup.  It is similar to a Lemon Drop Martini, but without the hint of orange.

So many lemon drinks, so little time…

Limoncello Martini

What is Limoncello?

Per Wikipedia, “Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy… Limoncello is made from the zest of lemons and usually has a slightly turbid appearance, which originates from the presence of small essential oil droplets suspended in the drink.”

Many people enjoy making it at home.  And mine comes from a local distillery where they steep Meyer Lemon zest in (local) Honey Vodka and sweeten with the same honey.  How good is that!

Limoncello Martini

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty & Refreshing.  With a lean toward tart rather than overly sweet, this is a bright, refreshing cocktail!

Versatile.  This drink would be equally at home served on your deck in summer or at your New Year’s Eve celebration.

Easy.  Shake up 4 ingredients with ice—how easy is that!  And I also include instructions on a super easy way to make simple syrup if you don’t have this on hand.

Limoncello Martini

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Limoncello.  This provides alcohol and lemon flavor (including the flavor of the volatile lemon oils).
  • Vodka.  This adds additional alcohol.
  • Lemon juice.  This ramps up the lemon flavor.  You’ll want to use fresh rather than bottled.
  • Simple syrup.  This adds additional sweetness.

Special Tools

  • A cocktail shaker is nice, though you can stir and strain the drink without it if needed.

Step by Step Directions

Measure all ingredients into a shaker

put ingredients in shaker

Top with ice.

top with ice

Shake until cold.


Strain into a cocktail glass.

strain into cocktail glass

Garnish as desired (optional).

How to Serve

Martinis are a perfect way to celebrate any type of occasion.  Or to simply enjoy–just for fun.  Life is short!

Now I should note that this is a smaller martini, about 4 ounces, so it’s going to look dwarfed in a large decorative martini glass. As I moved away from a focus on large, sweet, cream-based martinis, I broke down and bought some smaller martini glasses, which work great. 

Limoncello Martini

But there’s another up and coming serving trend that I love–coupe glasses.  Long stemmed cocktail glasses with wide, shallow bowls, they used to be popular for champagne (until people realized the bubbles dispersed too fast). 

And Epicurious tells us that it is fine—and maybe even preferable to drink a martini out of a coupe glass.  It is less likely to spill and the size is perfect for a smaller drink.

You can rim your glassware with sugar if you’d like, but a slice of lemon makes a simple, elegant garnish.  And since I made up a batch of dried orange slices, I decided to float one on top of my limoncello martini, just for fun!

limoncello Martini

Variations and Special Diets

Now since martinis are such a fun drink, it’s always nice to have more than one recipe in your repertoire.  For another fruity, citrus-y martini consider my Key Lime Martini, flavored like, you guessed it, key lime pie! 

Or another huge favorite is my Cranberry Martini (or Cosmopolitan) which I call a Cranberry Martini for Thanksgiving or Christmas or a Cosmopolitan (or Cosmo) the rest of the year.  And speaking of summer, be sure to check out my Refreshing Watermelon Martini.  

Fruity Martini Graphic

And if you’re feeling creamy rather than bright, how about a Festive Candy Cane Martini,  Baileys Chocolate Martini, or White Chocolate Strawberry Martini.  Yes, wouldn’t strawberries and white chocolate rock your Valentine’s Day!

Special Diets

This cocktail is vegetarian, vegan and dairy free.

For keto or low-carb, the limoncello will contain some sugar so there’s no avoiding it completely, but you can reduce the total sugar content.  I often use a simple syrup made with sweetener, for example Torani Puremade syrup, instead of a sugar based one.

Limoncello Martini

Tips & FAQs

Can I make simple syrup at home?

Simple syrup is just a sugar dissolved in water, so it’s easy to make at home. While most people will make simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, then cooling, I have an easier way.

Simply combine equal parts sugar and water in a blender, then blend until dissolved.  It will take a couple minutes to dissolve, but less than heating takes.  And you don’t need to let it cool!

Limoncello Martini

Limoncello Martini

Bright, cheery, & refreshing, a Limoncello Martini isa simple & elegant cocktail that’s perfect for New Year's, Game Day, or any occasion.
Author: Inger
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Beverage
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 213 kcal


  • 1 ounce limoncello
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice for shaking


  • Measure all ingredients into a shaker, then top with ice.
  • Shake until cold.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish as desired (optional)


Calories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 38mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 thoughts on “Refreshing Limoncello Martini

  1. Raymund

    5 stars
    Just four ingredients, all simple and bright, coming together to create a drink that’s both elegant and approachable. I can imagine sipping this on a warm summer evening, feeling the coolness and the citrusy zing chase away any worries.

  2. David Scott Allen

    We are about to maje the annual limoncello — and, as soon as we do, we will be enjoying this martini! The lemon trees are almost ripe in Tucson, so in 3 weeks or so — maybe in time for Valentines Day — we will be sipping! Happy New Year, Inger!

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