Learn how to make a Key Lime Martini with this quick and easy cocktail recipe! A fun cocktail, filled with fresh pineapple juice, key lime juice, whipped cream, and vodka with a satisfying graham cracker-crusted rim.
This sweet drink tastes just like a decadent slice of key lime pie. And just like the classic dessert (my favorite pie), it has a rich, creamy quality thanks to the inclusion of coconut cream. Wow your friends and be amazed at their reaction to this creative and delicious martini!
Why You'll Love This Key Lime Martini
- Tasty Dessert Cocktail. This martini has the sweet-tart flavors of a slice of key lime pie.
- Great for Parties. I am a dessert lover at times but will take a festive dessert cocktail most days. This martini is perfect for cocktail hour at a fun dinner party.
- Easy Prep. With just a few simple instructions, you can make a beautiful, delicious cocktail. Make your graham cracker rim, shake, pour, and serve.
What Are Key Limes?
Key limes, also known as Mexican limes or West Indian limes, are a hybrid fruit native to Southeast Asia. The key lime fruit is the typical shade of green that you are picturing with limes but will turn yellow as it ripens. This tangy and citrus fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
This key lime pie martini recipe does use key lime because it can be difficult to find. But it is important to mention them because traditional key lime pie is made with fresh (or store-bought) key lime juice.
Substitutions for Key Limes
You can substitute key limes with regular limes in this recipe. But if you are questioning if store-bought lime juice will do, I strongly urge you to use fresh lime juice.
When picking ripe limes, be sure they are firm but not hard. When you pick up the lime, you should be able to squeeze the lime and have it "give" a little. We will use a little under ¼ cup of lime juice so you will want to pick juicy limes.
This key lime martini tastes just like a liquid version of the dessert. Here is what you will need to make this martini.
- Vodka. I used Ketel One because that's what I had on hand. Use your favorite vodka.
- Pineapple Juice. This tropical fruit complements the lime well.
- Graham Cracker Sheets. This is reminiscent of the pie crust. We use it for the rim of the glasses.
- Fresh Lime Juice. The lime at the grocery store is most likely to be Persian limes.
- Coconut Cream. This adds a rich, frothy quality to the alcoholic beverage.
- Vanilla Extract. The warm vanilla flavor balances out the tart taste of the limes.
- Honey. Use this along the rim of the cup.
- Green Food Coloring. It does not affect the flavor of the drink at all but it provides the green hue we are accustomed to seeing when eating the delicious treat!
Types of Cream to Use for Key Lime Martini
What is good about this recipe is that several of the ingredients are interchangeable. With that said, if you are allergic to coconut or would prefer an alternative, you can substitute it with one of the items listed below.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Whip Cream
- Heavy Cream
I have only tested this recipe with coconut cream, but I am certain these additional listed items will work just as well.
How to Make a Key Lime Martini
This recipe is a joy to make! Impress your guests and allow them to watch as you bring this delicious dessert martini to life. Consider yourself an at-home mixologist after creating this recipe!
Rim Glass with Crushed Graham Crackers
First, we need to dress the martini glasses. I used a short martini glass that holds about 3-4 ounces of liquid but use what you have on hand. Begin by pouring about 1-2 tablespoons of honey onto a small saucer-sized plate.
Then place 2 graham crackers in a Ziploc bag (or lay on a paper towel and cover the crackers with an additional paper towel). Use a heavy object (like a peat pounder or even a handheld can opener) to break the graham crackers apart until they are in crumbles.
It will take about 30 seconds for the graham cracker crumbs to resemble fine dust. Unless you're like me and enjoy a bit of texture.
Once the graham crackers have been crushed, place them on a small saucer plate. Then take your martini glass and dip the rim into the honey, ensuring each side of the martini glass is coated.
Grab Your Shaker and Pour
Add ¼ cup to ½ cup of ice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in the vodka, cream, pineapple juice, vanilla extract, and 2-3 drops of green food coloring.
Once the ingredients have been added to the shaker, cover the shaker with a lid and begin vigorously shaking for about 30 seconds. The longer you shake the ingredients, the "fluffier" and creamier it will become.
Once the martini has been shaken, evenly pour the martini amongst the dressed glasses. Add a lime slice to each glass if you'd like. Finally, enjoy!
Key Lime Martini Recipe Variations
- Key Lime Martini Recipe Without Cream. Want coconut flavor without coconut cream? Some recipes include coconut rum or coconut milk instead.
- Simple Syrup. Other key lime martini recipes include a sweetener to offset the bitter taste of limes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a key lime and a regular lime?
Regular limes (Persian limes) are larger than key limes and have thicker skin. Key limes are known for their distinctively tart and slightly bitter flavor. They have a more intense and complex citrus aroma compared to regular limes. Regular limes are slightly sweet and less bitter, which makes them more versatile for various culinary uses.
What's the best vodka to use for Key Lime Martinis?
Use a mild-flavored vodka. Ketel One works great because it's smooth and is not overpowering in the recipe. Here are a list of other vodkas that work well with this recipe:
You can also purchase whipped vodka or vanilla vodka for additional flavor. I have made this recipe with whipped vodka before (not vanilla) and it is delicious!
I HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE KEY LIME PIE MARTINIS!
How To Make Key Lime Martini
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Cocktail Strainer
- 2 Oz Vodka
- 3 Oz Pineapple Juice
- 2 Graham Cracker Sheets
- ¼ cup Lime Juice
- 1-2 tablespoon Coconut Cream
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1-2 tablespoon Honey
- 2-3 drops Food Coloring optional
How to Rim Glass with Graham Cracker Crust
- Begin by pouring about 1-2 tablespoons of honey onto a small saucer sized plate.
- Next, take 2 graham crackers and place in a Ziploc bag (or lay on a paper towel and cover crackers with an additional paper towel).
- With a heavy object like a meat pounder or even a handheld can opener, begin breaking the graham crackers a part until they are in crumbles. This step will take maybe 30 seconds, you will want the graham crackers to be like fine dust.
- Then, after the graham crackers have been crushed, place them on a small saucer plate similar or like the size of the plate the honey is on.
- Take your martini glass and dip the rim into the honey. In other words, you will dip the top/rim of the glass and also the side of the martini glass too so that the graham cracker can adhere to the side of the glass about a ½ inch down the glass.
- Lastly, repeat this step depending on the number of people you are serving and set aside.
How to Make Key Lime Martini
- First, grab your cocktail shaker and add ¼ cup to ½ cup of ice.
- Second, pour in the vodka, cream, pineapple juice, vanilla extract and 2-3 drops of green food coloring.
- Once the cocktail ingredients have been added to the shaker, cover the cocktail shaker with a lid and begin vigorously shaking the cocktail for about 30 seconds.
- The longer you shake the cocktail, the "fluffier" and creamier it will become.
- Lastly, once the cocktail has been shaken, evenly pour the martini amongst the dressed glasses and enjoy!