How to Make a Fantastic Key Lime Martini Cocktail

By Cynthia Au

Start to Finish: 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Difficulty: Beginner

A Key lime martini is based on Key lime pie, the sweet, sour, creamy, custardy pie with a vanilla-scented graham cracker crust. The Key lime martini, as inspired by Absolut and Drinks Mixer, replicates the flavors of the pie. To make this drink for a special occasion, serve it in chilled martini glasses with a twist of lime. For something different, pair it with a bite-size serving of Key lime pie.


  • 4 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 fresh limes, whole
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • Ice


Fill two martini glasses with ice and add water until they are full. Set aside.

Place the white sugar and water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds. You can also use a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir the simple syrup to ensure even distribution of the sugar and let it cool to room temperature.

Slice the tip off of one lime so it rests flat on the cutting board. Using a paring knife, cut two thin, broad strips of rind off, keeping the width and depth of the peel as even as possible.

Slice both limes into quarters and juice. You should have roughly 2 ounces of lime juice.

Fill a cocktail shaker 1/3 full of ice, add the lime juice, the vodka and the simple syrup. Cover and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker shows condensation.

Throw out the ice and water in the martini glasses. Using the mesh strainer, strain the cocktail into the glasses, dividing evenly between the two.

Take one lime rind and, holding it just about the surface of the martini, twist, releasing the oils in the skin, and drop it into the glass. Repeat with the second martini and serve immediately.


The drink can also be blended to create a frosty version. Blend the lime juice, simple syrup and alcohol with a 1/2 cup of ice until frosty, and serve in a rocks, or old-fashioned, glass with a straw. Garnish with slices of lime instead of a twist.