I had to really stretch to fit this one in here. Absolutely nothing happens in December in Bond history. Except this: on this day in 1976, the 007 Stage opened at Pinewood Studios. It was the biggest soundstage in the world at the time. The British prime minister even did the honours, so that’s significant, right? Hence, James Bond’s Vesper. (For a simpler cocktail, scroll past Daniel Craig — if you can.)
‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’
‘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?’
(Casino Royale, Ian Fleming)
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz vodka
1/4 oz Lillet Blanc
large thin slice of lemon peel
Today’s Lillet is a bit different than the Kina Lillet that Bond drank, so to get closer to the real thing, add a drop of Angostura bitters.
Shake ingredients vigorously with ice (stirring is strictly forbidden) and strain into a champagne coupe or a cocktail glass. Twist the lemon peel over the drink and drop it in. Swoon.
You probably don’t have Lillet Blanc in you cupboard, your liquor store may not have it, or you may not want to bother getting it. Me, I’m a raving Bond fan, so I’ve got loads of the stuff to feed my Vesper addiction. But here’s another perfectly acceptable option for today:
Classic Martini, Bond-style
2 oz vodka
1/4 oz dry vermouth
cocktail olive, lime slice, or twist of lemon
Bond’s martini is a vodka martini, shaken not stirred. Ice-cold, medium dry, and served in a cocktail glass. The first time he orders one in the movie Dr. No, it’s served with a slice of lime in the glass, but the second one he drinks in the same movie has a lemon twist. By the way, in the movies he drinks only vodka martinis, but in the books he drinks vats of gin martinis too, so drink whatever makes you happy.
A dry martini with three olives, as Brandon orders in Shame, makes me vewy happy. I’m thinking gin. Easy on the vermouth. Seasoned with a single tear.
For tomorrow’s cocktail, you’ll need rye, dry vermouth, and pineapple juice.
Back to Day 4