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Food & Recipes

Lemon Cocktails Are Like a Sip of Sunshine — 10 Tasty Recipes to Brighten Any Day

Cheers to good times with these refreshing drinks that are so simple to make at home!

A little sweet, a little tart and just so refreshing, the taste of lemon makes for the perfect addition to practically any cocktail. Whether you’ve got fresh lemons, a squeeze bottle of juice, store-bought lemonade or lemon liqueur, the citrusy flavor can’t be beat. Even better, it pairs well with so many spirits, from clear sips like vodka and gin to darker libations like whiskey and rum. That means there are lots of ways to enjoy! Keep scrolling for our favorite recipes for lemon cocktails. Cheers!

3 tricks for working with lemons

Before you get mixing, read on for handy tips from the First for Women test kitchen that’ll help you make best use of fresh lemons:

1. Get the most juice out of lemons

Adding a squeeze of lemon gives cocktails a zesty kick, but some fruits yield more juice than others. To get the most out of every one, try this: Before you cut the fruit in half, roll it on a table, pressing down on the fruit as you roll. The firm pressure breaks down membranes in citrus fruit to release the maximum amount of juice. 

2. Juice lemons the easy way

Woman using tongs to squeeze juice out of a fresh lemon
Food & Photo

A citrus juicer is a handy tool, but if you don’t have one, not to fret: Tongs to the rescue! Simply place a halved lemon between the arms of tongs, then squeeze over a bowl or pitcher. Use a sieve to catch seeds. The tool will make it easy to extract every bit of juice. (And if you do have a juicer, click through for the surprising trick for how to juice a lemon correctly to get the most out of it.)

3. Keep lemons fresh for longer

Sometimes a cocktail calls for just a small amount of lemon juice, but when you cut off a small wedge, the rest of the lemon dries up in the fridge. Next time, use a skewer to poke a hole in the uncut lemon, then squeeze out the amount you need. This way, the inside of the lemon won’t be exposed to air, so it will stay fresh in the fridge for longer. (Click through to learn how you can also freeze lemon juice.)

10 lemon cocktails that are easy to make at home

Get to shakin’ up happiness and scroll on for delicious cocktails crafted in the First for Women test kitchen:

1. Lemon-Lavender Gin & Tonic

Lemon-Lavender Gin & Tonic

This floral-scented tipple with hints of lavender and citrus practically invites you to sit back and relax. 

2. Raspberry-Ice Spiked Lemonade

Raspberry-Ice Spiked Lemonade
Food & Photo

Fun berry ice cubes give this pretty drink extra pizzazz — we upped the lemony goodness with citrus vodka, but you can swap in any fruity flavor you’d like.

3. Lemon-Rosemary Refresher

Lemon Rosemary Refresher Cocktail

This delicious sip starts with a homemade citrusy herbal simple syrup that pairs perfectly with lemonade and whiskey. 

4. Lemon Spritzers

Lemon Spritzers
Food & Photo

Our adults-only version of a classic summer refresher gets even more tart-sweet flavor from an easy lemony mint syrup. 

5. Lemon-Ginger Kombucha Cocktail

Lemon Ginger Cocktail made with kombucha
Oxana Denezhkina/Shutterstock

Turn any moment into a special occasion with this citrusy whiskey cocktail infused with good-for-you kombucha. (Click through for the benefits of drinking kombucha.)

6. Raspberry-Lemon Breeze

Raspberry-Lemon Breeze cocktail
Food & Photo

Citrus vodka and limoncello, a lemony Italian liqueur, come together in our minty sparkler.

7. Limoncello-Prosecco Ticklers

Limoncello-Prosecco Tickler cocktails
Victoria Kondysenko/Shutterstock

Fresh herbs and citrus transform bubbly into a savory-sweet apertif.

8. Boozy Arnold Palmers 

Boozy Arnold Palmer made with lemonade, iced tea and bourbon
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

We swapped in zesty mint tea for black in this classic quencher that gets a kick from bourbon.

9. Limoncello Sangria

Glasses of limoncello sangria

This crisp blend of fresh fruit, wine and lemon liqueur is the perfect sip for warmer weather.

10. Pretty-in-Pink Lemon Gin Fizz

Lemon Gin Fizz cocktail

Rosemary-infused simple syrup adds a surprising savory note to this classic cocktail.

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