Ditch The Vodka And Start Shaking Tequila Into Your Lemon Drop

Since the 1970s, the Lemon Drop cocktail has been a popular choice at bars across the country. It's a delightful twist on the vodka martini, with a zesty, tangy flavor. This simple drink only requires triple sec, lemon juice, and a touch of simple syrup, but it combines sweet and sour flavors that hit your taste buds just right. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try swapping vodka for tequila. It's a change that's worth a literal shot!

Unlike vodka, which is known for its neutral taste, tequila brings a bold, earthy sweetness from the agave sugar. When substituted into this cocktail, it won't simply play a supporting role and allow other ingredients like lemon juice to take the spotlight, as vodka often does. Instead, tequila is going to step forward with its distinct flavor and work together with the zesty brightness of the lemon juice to give you a bolder-tasting treat.

The best part is that you don't need to make any adjustments to the classic Lemon Drop recipe at all. Since vodka and tequila are fairly similar to one another in terms of alcohol content, you can substitute them on a 1:1 basis with no issue. The classic recipe calls for 2 ounces of vodka, so all you have to do is use 2 ounces of tequila, and you'll have a fantastic tequila Lemon Drop ready to go.

Choosing the right tequila for your Lemon Drop

Blanco tequila is bottled shortly after distillation, which means it retains the most flavors from the sugar-rich agave plant compared to the other types. This results in a clean and crisp profile, making it perfect for a cocktail that demands clear and sharp flavors from its alcohol base. However, don't worry about it being too overpowering; the flavor of Blanco tequila is not so strong that it would drown out the taste of lemon juice. Instead, its clean profile complements citrusy cocktails like the Lemon Drop beautifully. The natural freshness, combined with a hint of sweetness from the remaining sugar, can serve as an enhancer of the citrus notes, giving you a well-balanced drink that's both vibrant and smooth-tasting.

On the other hand, achieving this complementary effect is more challenging with aged tequilas like reposado or añejo. These tequilas, unlike blanco, are aged for varying periods (from two to 12 months for reposado and up to three years for añejo) in oak barrels. The time they spend in the cask will impart deeper, woody flavors to the spirit. While these woody notes can be enjoyable for sipping or as a shot, they might clash horribly with the vibrant lemony essence of the cocktail. It wouldn't really be a "Lemon Drop" cocktail if the lemon flavor is nowhere to be found and all you got is a mouthful of oak, would it?