Lemon drop (candy)

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Lemon drop
Lemon Drops.jpg
Main ingredientsSugar, flavoring (lemon), food coloring

A lemon drop is a sugar coated, lemon-flavored candy that is typically colored yellow and often shaped like a miniature lemon. They can be sweet or have a more sour flavor. Lemon drops are made by boiling sugar, water and cream of tartar until it reaches the hard crack stage. As the mixture cools, lemon flavor is added. The candy is then rolled into long ropes, cut into small pieces and rolled in sugar. Lemon drops originated in England, where confectioners learned that adding acid such as lemon juice to the boiled sugar mixture prevented sugar from crystallizing.[1]

The term "lemon drop" is also occasionally applied to lemon-flavored throat lozenges, and an alcoholic drink consisting of lemon juice, vodka and sugar.

The first version of the lemon drop was called The Salem Gibraltar and was created in 1806. Modern lemon drops, like most hard candies we know today, descend from ancient medicinal lozenges. 18th century advances in sugar technology made possible hard sugar concoctions.

In popular culture[edit]

In the US version of the Harry Potter novels, as well as the film series, lemon drops are Dumbledore's favorite candy. It is also used as a password to enter his office. In the original UK version, he eats sherbet lemons.

Lemon drops are also Referenced in the 1939 MGM Movie The Wizard of Oz, in the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", sung by Judy Garland~ where troubles melt like Lemon drops, high above the chimney tops".


  1. ^ Chu, Anita. Field Guide to Candy: How to Identify and Make Virtually Every Candy Imaginable. Philadelphia: Quirk, 2009.