Beverages, Recipes

Best Key Lime Martini Recipe

If you’re in the mood for a sweet, tangy, and creamy cocktail, you have to try the Key lime martini. It’s hard to believe that such a simple drink packs so much flavor, but it does! 

You’ll notice notes of vanilla, key lime, cream, and sugar. It’s a sweet and tangy masterpiece that’ll mentally transport you to the beaches of Florida. 

Two Glasses of Key Lime Martini in a Wooden Table

All you need to make it is ice, four ingredients, and a cocktail shaker. Bonus points if you add a rich graham cracker rim on the glass. 

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The Key Lime Martini is the ideal drink for summer. Or any other time you’re craving something yummy. 

Key Lime Martini 

Although I sometimes like to branch out, fruity cocktails are my favorites. I love how light, sweet, tangy, and refreshing most of them are. 

The Key lime martini is no exception. It’s all of those things, plus it’s wonderfully creamy. 

It’s bright and tropical with loads of lime and vanilla flavor. It tastes like a Key lime pie, only in drink form. 

Don’t take my word for it, though. Grab the few ingredients it requires and try it for yourself. 

Key Lime Martini Garnished With Slice of Lime

Ingredients 

You need five things to make this drink work:

  • Ice – There’s nothing worse than a lukewarm cocktail. Add plenty of ice so it’s as cold as possible.
  • Vanilla-flavored vodka – Many vodka brands have a vanilla-flavored vodka variety. Even if you haven’t seen it, your favorite brand probably has one, too. Use a high-quality brand whose taste you like.
  • Key lime juice – You can usually find key limes at the grocery store. Juicing the limes yourself will provide the best taste. You can also find Key lime juice at many grocery stores or online.
  • Simple syrup – Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook it until the sugar fully dissolves. Then, let the syrup cool and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for all your cocktail needs.
  • Half-and-half – Half-and-half makes the cocktail sweeter, thicker, and creamier. In essence, it makes it more like a Key lime pie. 

How to Make Key Lime Martini 

Follow these steps to make this martini: 

1. Mix. Start by filling the cocktail shaker 3/4 full with ice. Then, add the other ingredients. 

2. Shake. Vigorously shake the cocktail shaker for several seconds. 

3. Strain. Strain the martini into the prepared glass, and enjoy! 

How to Make a Graham Cracker Rim 

Though not listed on the ingredient list, you’ll also want graham crackers for the rim. Trust me, they pair perfectly with the drink, making it taste like a real Key lime pie. 

Here’s how to “salt” the rim with graham cracker crumbs: 

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  1. Place the graham crackers in a Ziploc bag. Press as much air out of the bag as possible, then seal it. Use a rolling pin to crush the graham crackers inside the bag. Pour the crumbs onto a plate. 
  2. Add granulated sugar to the cookie crumbs. Slice a lime into wedges, and cut a notch in one of the wedges.
  3. Run the notched wedge around the rim of the glass to wet it. Gently place one edge of the glass’ rim into the cookie crumbs. 
  4. Gently turn the rim until you’ve rimmed the entire glass. Remember, you only need the crumbs on the outside rim of the glass.
Glass of Homemade Key Lime Martini

Tips and Variations 

Here are a few tips and variations to make this drink even more fun:

  • Add a graham cracker rim. I told you how to do this above. Make good use of that information! Trust me, it dials the already delicious drink up to an 11. If graham crackers aren’t your thing, try a toasted coconut rim instead. 
  • Make it a party! Make a big batch for a big gathering. Increase the ingredients by a factor of 3 (or more) and combine them in a pitcher instead of a glass. You’ll have to stir, not shake them, but you can make enough to please the crowd.
  • Go easy on the simple syrup. You may not need 2 whole ounces of simple syrup. Start slow with 1 ounce or even just 1/2 an ounce. See how you like the drink’s taste, and add more if needed.
  • Take a tropical twist. Swap out the half-and-half for coconut milk or coconut cream instead. It’s still sweet and creamy, but the coconut adds another depth of flavor. 
  • Vary the vodka. Try using whipped vodka instead of vanilla. Or leave out the vodka entirely and use coconut rum or another favorite spirit. 
  • Make it pretty. Add a lime twist, a wedge of lime, or some skewered berries for a fun finish. These are only ideas, of course. You can garnish the drink however you see fit. 
Key Lime Martini