Shaken, Not Stirred
Since Ian Fleming first put pen to paper in 1953 and released Casino Royale, the first of his 12 James Bond novels, there have been eight actors that have portrayed the British
Secret Service Agent on TV and Film. Each thespian has added their own brand of
personality to the British spy. While it is undeniable that the rugged Sean Connery set the benchmark for all future Bonds to live up to, all have shared the same core traits. 007 is both a lover and a fighter; a skilled assassin, handy with anything with a sharp edge and an expert with any style gun. He is also plagued with vices. He smoked, was a gambler and sex addict. He overindulged in alcohol and was an adrenaline junkie and that is exactly why we love him.
The written James Bond preferred a Haig Scotch and Soda as his go to beverage, the celluloid version is known to favor a vodka martini; shaken, not stirred. Don’t get me wrong, the book version drank Vodka martinis. He also drank bourbon and gin, but it was the Vesper Martini that that gained iconic status. James invented the now famous cocktail in Chapter of Casino Royale with precise accuracy:
…and the he looked at the barman.
'A dry martini,' he said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet” 'Oui, monsieur.' '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 think of a good name.'
He ultimately named the cocktail the Vesper after Vesper Lynd, one of the many Bond girls that James loves, leaves and ultimately winds up dead. Oops. This snippet also led to the ubiquitous shaken, not stirred quote said at some point in nearly every one of the 24 Bond movies.
James Bond is my second favorite fictional character sandwiched between Indiana Jones and James Tiberius Kirk; I wonder what that says about me. I am quite partial to Sir Roger Moore’s campy portrayal of the playboy Bond and I also really enjoy Daniel Craig’s gritty and tortured take of the super spy. That said, I always try my best Connery impersonation every time I watch a movie. “Bond, Jameshz Bond” Do I like I do, dress up in your best Tuxedo, whip up a batch of Vespers and watch a “Bondathon” or try the recipe below and “pre-game” before this November’s No Time to Die hits the theaters. UPDATE- The movie has been postponed until 2021- Let's toast to the passing of Sir Sean Connery :(
3 oz Gordon’s London Dry Gin
1 oz Vodka (I suggest Stolichnaya)
½ oz Lillet Blanc
Garnish: Lemon Twist
Combine all ingredients into a Cocktail Shaker
Squeeze lemon peel and rub the inside rim of a chilled Coupe glass
Shake well and double strain into glass
Note: As of 1986 Kina Lillet is no longer made, but it is believed that Lillet Blanc is the liqueur used to make the Vesper.