I finally got around to watching Quantum of Solace last night and there’s a scene where Bond is sipping a cocktail (his sixth) consisting of gin, vodka, Kina Lillet and a lemon twist. Now, I won’t get all ranty about the fact that he was sipping said cocktail in a private jet with bar that happened to have exactly what he needed or that Kina Lillet is no longer available. Nor will I gleefully ramble about the fact that Bond is finally drinking cocktails other than Vodka Martinis. No, I’m turning to this scene for inspiration.
The drink Bond was quaffing was a Vesper, which he created and named after his love interest, Vesper Lynd, who we were introduced to in Casino Royale. Being a fan of Lillet this drink sounded like a perfect one to explore this week. The recipe for the Vesper Bond explains both in the book and movie Casino Royale:
“A dry martini,” [Bond] 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?”
“Certainly, monsieur.” The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter.
Bond laughed. “When I’m…er…concentrating,” he explained, “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. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.”
– James Bond (Ian Fleming), Casino Royale – Tip o’ the hat to Wikipedia for that one
While there is a bit of discussion of the Wikipedia page about the recipe calling for measures, which the page’s author insists must mean a jigger (1 1/2 oz), I don’t think this is necessarily true. Nor is it crucial to making this drink. Like most drinks you can use whatever you damn well please for your measure. I’ll be using 1/2 oz as it makes for a more manageable cocktail.
Vesper (Original Recipe)
1 1/2 oz Gin 1/2 oz Vodka 1/4 oz Lillet Blonde Lemon Twist for Garnish
1) Shake (shudder) until very cold 2) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass