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Key Lime Martini

Key lime cocktail with whipped cream

Key lime martini recipes run the gamut from cocktails that stay true to traditional martini formula to inventive concoctions that stir the imagination. Some recipes are ideal for sipping while others make excellent desserts.

Making a lime flavored martini is a task that is definitely subject to personal tastes. Some argue that many recipes for martinis are not really martinis at all, especially when neither gin nor vodka is used in them. Some key lime cocktails use traditionally based recipes, while others are modern and are just served martini style.

Typical Ingredients

Many key lime cocktails are considered vodka martinis. Gin is not a popular choice for these particular drinks, even though gin and lime go very well together. Vermouth is also noticeably absent in key lime versions of the drink, and garnishing a lime drink with olives isn't the most appealing option. A lime martini can be as simple as vodka, lime, sugar and ice shaken and strained into a martini glass, but when it comes to creating a key lime pie flavor, the recipes become more complex. Some call for heavy cream to mimic the pie's fluffy texture, and others call for pineapple juice.


The finishing touch to any martini is the garnish. When it comes to dessert-inspired cocktails, the garnish can offer much more than just visual appeal. Some good garnish ideas for lime martinis include:

  • Crushed graham crackers
  • A powdered sugar rim
  • A toasted coconut rim
  • Lime wheels or slices
  • Maraschino cherries

A Sampling of Key Lime Martini Recipes

A key lime martini is a refreshingly tart cocktail that conjures images of beaches and breezes. The following is a sampling of recipes to suit a variety of tastes.

Vanilla Graham


  • 2 ounces of vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce of lime vodka
  • 2 ounces of key lime juice
  • 2 ounces of half-and-half


Rim two frozen martini glasses with fresh lime and graham crackers. Shake the vodkas and key lime juice vigorously, followed by swirling. Add the half-and-half and shake well. Strain the drink into the glasses and top them with a dash of whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs and lime slices.

Vodka and Lime


  • 5 ounces of premium vodka
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • 1 ounce of heavy cream


Allow the vodka and lime juice to stand in an ice-filled shaker for about one minute. Shake the vodka and juice vigorously and swirl it before adding the cream. Shake for 60 seconds after adding the cream. Strain the ingredients into two chilled martini glasses rimmed with fresh lime and powdered sugar. Garnish the drink with a maraschino cherry and a lime wheel.

Key Lime Liqueur


  • 1.5 ounces of vanilla vodka
  • 1.5 ounces of key lime liqueur
  • 1 half ounce of lime juice
  • 1 half ounce of heavy cream


Vigorously shake all of the ingredients except the cream in a shaker with ice. Add the cream and shake well. Strain the drink into a martini glass rimmed with sugar and graham crackers.

Worried about curdling? Try using pineapple juice to replace the heavy cream in both of the above recipes.

Lime martini Lime martini

Coconut Rum


  • 2 ounces of vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce of coconut rum
  • 1 ounce of Rose's Lime Juice


Rub the rim of a chilled martini glass with fresh lime and rim the glass in toasted coconut. Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain the beverage into the martini glass. Garnish the drink with a wedge of lime.

Mexican Inspiration

This Mexican martini is ideal for people who love margaritas.


  • 2 ounces of tequila
  • 2 ounces of key lime liqueur
  • 1 ounce of simple syrup


Rim a frozen martini glass with margarita salt. Fill a shaker halfway with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake well, and then strain the drink into the glass. Garnish it with a slice of lime.

Key Lime Martini with Vanilla Syrup Recipe


  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime-flavored vodka
  • 1 ounce vanilla syrup, regular or sugar free
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, preferably key lime
  • 1/2 ounce whipped cream or non-dairy cream topping


Place the ice and drink ingredients into a martini shaker. Shake well and strain the drink into a martini glass.

Key Lime Pie Martini

Instead of just recreating the taste of the pie filling, this recipe coats the rim of the martini glass with traditional key lime pie crust ingredients.


  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 3 ounces vanilla-flavored vodka
  • 1/4 cup key lime flavored liquor (available at some liquor stores)
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce heavy whipping cream
  • Ice


  1. Place the cracker crumbs into a pie plate or shallow dish and, if desired, mix in a pinch of sugar.
  2. Wet the rim of a martini glass with one of the lime wedges and coat it with the crumbs.
  3. Chill the glass for at least thirty minutes to let the crumbs securely adhere to the glass.
  4. Combine the vodka, key lime liquor, pineapple juice and whipping cream in a martini shaker half-filled with ice and shake for thirty seconds.
  5. Strain into the crumb-rimmed glass and garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

Key lime martini recipes demonstrate the new wave of martini-inspired cocktails. If you want to enjoy a refreshing drink, why not look to your favorite desserts for inspiration?

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Key Lime Martini