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  • Writer's pictureAdam Horvath

Shaken, Not Stirred- The Bond Vesper

Updated: Mar 22

Since Ian Fleming first put pen to paper in 1953 releasing Casino Royale, the first of his 12 James Bond novels, there have been eight (edit: make that nine as Aaron Taylor-Johnson appears to have just snagged the coveted role) actors who have portrayed the larger than life, British Secret Service Agent on TV and Film. Each thespian has

added their own unique brand of swagger and personality to the super spy. While it is undeniable that the rugged Sean Connery set the benchmark for future Bonds to live up to, all Bonds 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 firearm. He is also plagued with vices. He smokes, gambles and I think we can all agree he's a bit of sex addict. He overindulged in alcohol and was an adrenaline junkie and that is exactly why we love him.

The written James Bond actually 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 too. 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 then 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. That said, I always try my best Connery impersonation every time I watch a movie. “Bond, Jameshz Bond” Cheers to Aaron, you have a lot to live up to but no pressure. That said, Tangerine was pretty bad ass on Bullet Train, so I am hopeful.

Vesper Cocktail

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

Add peel


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.

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1 Comment

Joshua Harclerode
Joshua Harclerode
Nov 09, 2020

Gin AAAND Vodka? Noice!

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