Everyone knows that James Bond likes his martinis “shaken, not stirred’. However, Mr. Bond has not always enjoyed vodka martinis. In fact, in Ian Fleming’s 1953 book Casino Royale, 007 prefers The Vesper.
Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
The Vesper is one of our go-to cocktails at home as it doesn’t require a ton of special ingredients and it pairs well with most food. The major difference between The Vesper of today versus that of Fleming’s time is that Kina Lillet is no longer made. Now Lillet Blanc is typically used (the major difference is the lack of quinine), though some bartenders will use Cocchi Americano. Despite the differences in ABV’s, we always use Gordon’s for our Vesper’s as it was the type originally used in the book (we are geeks after all).
Our resident cocktail geek Matthew has put together a little how-to video to go along with our recipe:
If making a Vesper at home isn’t quite your thing, there are a few places around town that make excellent Vespers. Among them are Bitter and Twisted (proprietor Ross Simon gave us the advice, “the best Vesper is one that is shaken so long that you can’t feel your hand because it is so cold”) and The Bee’s Knees in The Camby. Though in all honesty, we have been to restaurants (not cocktail-centric ones mind you) who don’t know what Vespers are, so be aware that you may have to explain.
We plan to do more of these videos and recipes, but we need your help! What kind of cocktails do you want to learn how to make? Leave your comments below or use the hash tag #GeekEats! Cheers!
- 3 oz Gordon's Gin
- 1 oz Vodka (we used Tito's)
- 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
- Lemon Peel for Garnish
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc.
- Shake (until you can't feel your hand according to Ross Simon).
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Cut lemon peel and twist to release oils.
- Rub the edge of the glass with the peel.
- Drop peel into the martini.