How many carbs in a Lemon Drop shot?

Quick Answer

A single 1.5 oz Lemon Drop shot contains approximately 15 grams of carbs, coming mainly from sugar. The exact carb count can vary slightly depending on the specific ingredients and proportions used in the recipe.

What is a Lemon Drop Shot?

A Lemon Drop shot is a popular vodka-based cocktail that combines sweet and sour flavors. The primary ingredients in a Lemon Drop shot are:

  • Vodka – The base spirit, typically 1 oz per shot
  • Fresh lemon juice – Provides tartness, around 0.75 oz per shot
  • Simple syrup – A sugar-water mixture that adds sweetness, around 0.5 oz per shot
  • Sugar rim – The glass rim is coated in sugar to balance the sourness

The tart lemon juice is balanced by the sweet simple syrup, while the vodka provides an alcoholic kick. The sugar-rimmed glass provides a sweet crunch and finish to each sip.

Calories and Carbs in a Lemon Drop Shot

Here is the approximate nutritional breakdown for a single 1.5 ounce Lemon Drop shot:

Nutrition Facts Amount
Calories 150
Fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 15 g
Sugar 12 g
Protein 0 g

As you can see, a single Lemon Drop shot contains about 150 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of the carbs come from the sugar used to make the simple syrup and sugar rim.

By comparison, a 1.5 oz shot of straight vodka contains around 100 calories and 0g carbs. So the lemon juice and sugar add significant calories and carbs to the standard alcohol shot.

Calculating the Carbs in Lemon Drop Ingredients

To understand where the carbs are coming from in a Lemon Drop shot, let’s break down the main ingredients:


Vodka is a distilled spirit made from fermented grains or vegetables. The distillation process removes nearly all residual carbs, so a 1 oz shot of vodka contains less than 0.5 g carbs. Vodka adds alcohol but no significant carbs to a Lemon Drop.

Fresh Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice contains very few carbs, with around 1.5 g carbs per ounce. The 0.75 oz of juice in a Lemon Drop adds only about 1 gram of carbs.

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is composed of equal parts sugar and water dissolved together. Standard granulated white sugar contains about 16 g carbs per ounce.

In a Lemon Drop, the simple syrup is typically made with 0.5 oz of sugar dissolved in 0.5 oz water, or about 8 grams of sugar/carbs total. This accounts for over half of the carb content in a Lemon Drop shot.

Sugar Rim

The granulated sugar coating the rim of the glass also adds carbs. Assuming the rim is thoroughly coated in a 0.25 inch band of sugar, this could add around 5-6 grams of carbs.

Carb Count Can Vary by Ingredient Amounts

The total carb count in a Lemon Drop can vary slightly depending on the specific recipe and proportions of ingredients:

  • More simple syrup or a heavier sugar rim will increase carbs
  • Using agave or other sweeteners changes the carb amount
  • Different vodka brands have minimal impacts on carbs
  • Adjusting lemon juice volume won’t significantly affect carb count

But in general, a single 1.5 ounce Lemon Drop shot made with standard ingredients will contain around 15 grams of carbohydrates, mostly from added sugars.

Comparing Carbs in Lemon Drop vs Other Cocktails

Here’s how the carb count of a Lemon Drop shot compares to other popular cocktails:

Drink (1.5 oz) Total Carbs
Lemon Drop 15 g
Vodka Soda 0 g
Gin & Tonic 15 g
Bloody Mary 5-10 g
Martini 0 g
Margarita 15-20 g
Piña Colada 20-25 g

Unsurprisingly, carb counts are highest in very sweet cocktails like Piña Coladas and Margaritas. Clear distilled spirits like vodka provide alcohol without carbs. And ingredients like sodas, juice, and sweet liqueurs add varying amounts of carbs.

Tips for Ordering a Low Carb Lemon Drop

If you want to enjoy the sweet-tart flavor of a Lemon Drop but limit carbs, here are some tips:

  • Request no sugar or light sugar rim
  • Ask for less simple syrup
  • Substitute zero-carb sweetener for simple syrup
  • Skip the shot and order a full lemon drop cocktail made with diet soda or sparkling water
  • Balance it out with low carb snacks and beverages for the rest of the day

While it does contain sugars, a single Lemon Drop shot can fit into an overall low carb diet when portion sizes and mixers are considered. Be sure to account for the carbs and calories in your daily totals.

Should People on a Low Carb Diet Avoid Lemon Drops Entirely?

People following a low carb or keto diet don’t necessarily have to avoid Lemon Drops completely. There are a few factors to consider:

– Ketosis carb limits – The standard keto diet aims for around 50g net carbs per day. A 15g shot has a modest impact.

– Frequency of drinking – Occasional light drinking may work, but heavy intake can quickly add carbs.

– Ingredient adjustments – Ordering with low carb sweeteners and no sugar rim makes a difference.

– Lifestyle fit – Some can fit an occasional sugary drink into their diet, while others prefer to strictly avoid all high carb foods and beverages for consistency.

– Glycemic response – The carbs in Lemon Drops come from sugar, which causes a bigger spike in blood sugar and insulin than complex carbs.

– Individual tolerance – Each person responds differently to both alcohol and carbs. Finding your own tolerance level is key.

So an occasional Lemon Drop on a night out may be manageable for some following a keto or low carb diet, provided they account for it and adjust the rest of their intake accordingly. Those who prefer to completely avoid sugar alcohols may choose to skip it or select a lower carb alternative.

The Bottom Line

A single 1.5 ounce Lemon Drop alcoholic shot contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates, which come mostly from added sugars like simple syrup and sugar rim ingredients. The exact amount can vary slightly based on specific recipes and proportions. While not the lowest carb cocktail choice, Lemon Drops can potentially be incorporated into a low carb diet in moderation and with adjustments like limited sugar rim or low carb sweetener substitutions. As with any higher carb indulgence, be sure to account for the carbs and calories in your daily totals.

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