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Casino Royale

DRINK MATCH: Vesper Martini

Just as in Ian Flemming's first James Bond novel of the same name, CASINO ROYALE depicts Agent 007 bestowing his personal alcoholic invention with the name "Vesper" - named after the female lead Vesper Lynd. Though the Vesper Martini is the true Bond original martini, in pop culture it still plays second fiddle to the Vodka Martini, which Sean Connery first popularized by ordering "shaken, not stirred" in the premier Bond film, DR. NO. As martini aficionados will tell you, until Bond came along the standard martini was made with gin, which is never shaken. Recipes for both martinis, as well as two other Bond favorite drinks, are listed below.


"I think I'll call it a Vesper."

Watch James Bond (Daniel Craig) order the Vesper Martini in CASINO ROYALE


Vesper Martini (Casino Royale)
    Ingredients:
  • 3 ounces gin. Original recipe calls for Gordon's. If you want the 1950's era 90+ proof flavor, subsititute Tanqueray (Gordon's is now less than 80-proof).
  • 1 ounce vodka. Again, if you desire to stay true to the 50's, use Stolichnaya 100 proof or another variety of similar strength.
  • ½ ounce Cocchi Americano wine. Original recipe calls for Kina Lillet, which has changed over the years into Lillet Blanc. It's not the same; Cocchi Americano is what you want to use here.
  • Lemon peel for garnish.
Throw the gin, vodka, and wine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne saucer or cocktail glass. Garnish. When Bond invented this drink in 1953, he requested it served in a deep Champagne goblet, as cocktail glasses were smaller in those days. Now that cocktail glasses are larger, either are suitable.


Vodka Martini (Dr. No and beyond)
(IBA category: Before-dinner cocktail - dry or medium)
    Ingredients:
  • 2½ ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth
  • Choose your garnish: green olive(s), lemon peel, capers, or cocktail onions.
Throw the vodka and vermouth into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously (don't stir). Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish.


Mint Julep (Goldfinger)
    Ingredients:
  • 3 ounces Bourbon whiskey. Bond requests a "sour mash" -- try Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, or Makers Mark.
  • 4 fresh mint sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Throw the mint, sugar, and one ounce of the bourbon into a mixing glass. Gently crush the mint and sugar (only bruise the mint, do not shred), and let sit for a minute. Strain into a tall glass or julep cup. Fill the glass with ice, then add the rest of the bourbon. Garnish with mint, if you have any to spare.


Mojito! (Die Another Day)
(IBA category: Fancy drink - long, medium, short)
    Ingredients:
  • 1½ ounces light rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 4 fresh mint sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Soda water
  • Lime wedge
Throw the mint, sugar, and lime juice into a collins glass. Gently crush the mint and sugar (only bruise the mint, do not shred), and let sit for a minute. Add the rum, then stir. Then add some ice and top off with soda water. Garnish with mint, if you have any to spare, and the lime wedge.