Bond-Style Vesper Martini Cocktail Recipe

"Shaken, not stirred" are probably some of the most famous words in cocktail lore — but the cocktail preferred by their speaker, James Bond, is actually lesser known. Most people know that Bond drinks martinis, but few know exactly what kind of martini he prefers. The Vesper martini was mentioned in the first book in the series ("Casino Royale") in 1953, and then later incorporated into the 2006 movie of the same name. However, the movie actually gets the cocktail ratio wrong. We're here to fix that mistake.

According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, the Vesper martini recipe that Bond-series author Ian Fleming uses is: "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?" The movie omitted the gin, thus disturbing the perfect balance of this literary creation. A cocktail with such strong spirits is usually stirred, but we are going to take the purist approach and stick to the source, thus shaking it. In our opinion, the results are quite stunning, albeit not for the faint of heart.

So follow Bond's lead and shake yourself a glass of the Vesper martini. You won't be disappointed.

Gather the Vesper martini ingredients

As is the case in a clean martini, the ingredient list is quite short. You will need Gordon's gin, a good vodka, and a bottle of Lillet blanc. We'll get our garnish from a lemon.

The gin gives this Vesper Martini its body, while vodka dilutes its flavor slightly to make it more drinkable. But what really adds the taste and aroma to this cocktail is the Lillet. Lillet is one of the most French fortified wines you can imagine. It is made with a blend of Bordeaux grapes, strengthened by a mix of citrus liqueurs. The resulting drink is floral, aromatic, and the equivalent of a spring day in a glass.

Chill your vessels

Before you start making the martini, chill a martini glass in the freezer — or fill it with ice cubes and let it stand in the fridge. Fill a shaker with ice.

Add the ingredients to shaker

Add the gin, vodka, and Lillet blanc to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. If you don't have a cocktail shaker, you can also use two large glasses or a mason jar.

Shake until well chilled

Close the shaker (or hold the two glasses together) and shake the liquors and ice until your drink is well-chilled.

Make a lemon twist

Cut off a lemon slice (peel on), about 1-inch in thickness. Cutting carefully with a paring knife, remove the flesh from inside. Cut the peel in the middle, creating one long strip. Then, working gingerly, scrape the pith off the inside of the peel. Aim to keep a thin, mostly yellow ribbon of peel. Twist the peel around a straw and hold it for about 2 minutes, until it mostly keeps its shape.

Serve your Bond-style Vesper martini cocktail

Remove the glass from the freezer and pour in your cocktail. Gently squeeze the oil from the lemon peel over the drink, run the twist along the rim of the glass, then place it along said rim.

Bond-Style Vesper Martini Cocktail Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
We all know how Bond likes his cocktail: shaken, not stirred. But what actually goes into it? Here's how to make a classic Vesper martini.
Prep Time
3
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
1
Cocktail
serving vesper martini
Total time: 3 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce Lillet blanc
  • 1 lemon slice, for garnish
Directions
  1. Prepare your martini glass by placing it in the freezer, or filling it with ice and placing in the refrigerator.
  2. Meanwhile, add the gin, vodka, and Lillet blanc into a shaker filled with ice. Shake until well-chilled.
  3. Strain cocktail into the chilled martini glass.
  4. Make a lemon twist by cutting off a lemon slice (peel on), about 1 inch in thickness. Cutting carefully with a paring knife, remove the flesh from inside. Cut the peel in the middle, creating a long strip. Then scrape the pith off the inside of the peel. Twist the peel around a straw and hold it for about 2 minutes, until it mostly keeps its shape.
  5. Gently squeeze the oil from the lemon peel over the drink, then run the twist along the rim of the glass. Decorate the glass with the twist.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 317
Total Fat 0.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 1.6 g
Sodium 3.9 mg
Protein 0.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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