Lemon-Gin Party Martinis

Lemon-Gin Party Martinis

I call these party martinis because they have many of the elegant qualities of an impeccably made martini, but in reality they are just a plain old pitcher drink. The perfect way to serve lots of thirsty people at one time.

I realize that drinking a specially made hand-crafted martini is hard to beat. But when entertaining, who wants to be manning the bar while the guests are having fun? That’s where pitcher cocktails and party martinis come in– they give you the freedom to enjoy yourself at your own shindig.

When I entertain I often choose pitcher cocktails and party martinis for the sake of convenience. However, I do have one problem with pitcher drinks in general. It seems the great bulk of them are a little bit silly. Most of them are so diluted with fruit and “fun” that they hardly qualify as a cocktail in my book. I realize it’s a giggle to have a lime green sipper that perfectly matches your eyeshadow, but some guests may prefer a quieter fashion statement.

Don’t get me wrong, I love flamboyant drinks (tiki party anyone?). There’s certainly a place for Strawberry-Rhubarb Cosmos, Watermelon Soju Mojitos and Cherry-Vanilla Vodka Kisses. I’m sure a great many people like these drinks. I like these drinks when they’re appropriate. Some parties call for the elegant sophistication of clear booze in a stemmed glass with a simple garnish. However, there’s a reason light and fruity pitcher drinks are so popular. They’re easy to drink, they’re not too boozy, and guests can help themselves. You can’t always say that about a proper martini.

Proper Party Martinis

Well, this Lemon-Gin Party Martini makes the best of both types of cocktails. It’s light and lemony enough to keep party from slipping into an alcoholic haze, and thanks to its clear color, it matches whatever the host chooses to wear. GREG

Party Martinis in a pitcher Lemon Party Martinis

Lemon-Gin Martini

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8Source Adapted from Martha Stewart LivingPublished
lemon-gin martini


  • ice cubes (as needed to fill your pitcher halfway)
  • 24 ounce London dry gin
  • 4 ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • long thin strips of lemon peel (as needed for garnish)


Add enough ice to generously fill a large pitcher halfway. Stir in gin, vermouth, and lemon juice. Pour into cocktail glasses, leaving ice in pitcher. Garnish each cocktail with lemon strips.

Pitcher and lemon photos appear courtesy of an editorial partnership with Shutterstock.