Properly Sauced - The Vesper, James Bond’s Original Drink

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 29, 2009 6:20PM

CasinoRoyale.jpg Before “Shaken not Stirred,” medium-dry vodka martinis and fresh bottles of Stoli, James Bond was a drinker of a different sort. In his initial outing as Britain’s favorite superhero spy, he instructed the bartender to make him a drink, which has become one of our favorites. Later, the drink was identified with the love interest of the story, Vesper Lynd. We love the Vesper for a lot of reasons - the association with the dapper gentleman of the 60s, the combination of Gin and Lillet Blanc - but it has faded from public view in favor of flashier, neon-colored successors.

The Vesper may be a little bit sweet, but it’s a man’s cocktail in it’s own way, with about 4 ounces of hard alcohol masked only by the Lillet and a twist of lemon. As Bond himself put it, “"I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made.” Here’s to that.

The Vesper
From Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming

3 oz. Gordon’s Gin
1 oz. Stolichnaya Vodka
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
3 dashes of bitters
large twist of lemon

Ideally, this drink uses Gordon’s Gin. If you can’t find it, use any strongly-flavored gin - we’ve tried Bombay and Plymouth, and they worked out just fine.

Shake the Gin, Vodka and Lillet over cracked ice. Strain into a cocktail glass, add the bitters and the twist of lemon. Sip, preferably while wearing a tuxedo.