Silver Cocktail Shaker | Lemon Drop Martini

by SilverMagpies on February 5, 2013

I wish you could see this silver cocktail shaker in person.  It is absolutely divine.  Clean simple lines, a very large size, and best of all, it has a cunning twist mechanism that displays different drink recipes.  It is a stunning piece of Chinese export silver owned by a very good friend who graciously let me photograph and write about it.

silver cocktail shaker

It’s difficult to make out in the photo, but the band displays different drink names. Twist the band around to the desired drink and the recipe quantities are displayed in the rectangular boxes you see descending down the left hand side.

Silver cocktail shakers are among  the most desirable pieces of barware.  Glamorous symbols of the cocktail era, silver cocktail shakers come in all sizes.  I sold one a few years ago that was picnic sized…just right for 2 tiny martinis.

Silver cocktail shakers also come in all shapes. Some are plain and simple, like this Chinese one. Others, particularly genuine Art Deco era ones, are shaped like airplanes and rocket ships. You see knock-offs of the Art Deco pieces in a number of major retail chains (please understand that you aren’t buying vintage silver from those folks.  It’s a pet peeve of mine — What is vintage silver?)

Vintage silver cocktail shaker photo shoot…hmmm, what should we make?

silver cocktail shaker

Just perfect…remember not to make the sugar rim too thick.

The pressing question when I was preparing this post was what cocktail should I make to accompany the shaker! Despite the frequency with which I write about drinks on Silver Magpies, I’m not much of a drinker.  Too many intriguing sounding drinks are too bitter or sour for my palate. Yes, I’m a bit of a sweet tooth, but sickly-sweet drinks aren’t to my taste either.

Enter the Lemon Drop Martini.  I think I have found the perfect cocktail.  Not too sweet, not too bitter… a hit of citrus…just perfect.  A word of warning though: don’t go overboard on the sugar rim.  Sometimes you get a drink like this at a restaurant and the sugar extends down the glass half an inch.  Not only does it make the drink too sweet, but also makes the glass a sticky mess to drink from. Less is more.

Lemon Drop Martini (click title for printer friendly version)

  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar (plus more to rim the glass)
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice (I used a Meyer lemon this time)
silver cocktail shaker

Look at that lovely twisty lemon peel! I took so many photos of the peel just because I adore how the bright color just pops out of the photo. The fragrance was divine too.

Using a channel knife, create a lovely long and twisty lemon peel.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice.  Place a few tablespoons of sugar on a small plate.  Using either one of the halves, run it around the edge of your glass.  Invert the glass into the sugar.  I don’t like to make the sugar rim too large…it makes the drink too cloying.

Mix the vodka, Triple Sec, sugar and lemon juice in a shaker along with plenty of ice.  Shake well and make sure the sugar is dissolved. Pour the cold liquid (not the ice) into your glass and garnish with the peel. Enjoy.


Got a favorite version of the martini?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Have a martini-loving friend?  Pass this post along to them and add a new recipe to their repertoire.

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