The Vesper

When one thinks of cocktails + cinema, the most popular scenes that come to mind are those of James Bond ordering a classic dry vodka martini, “shaken, not stirred”. However, in the 2006 release of Casino Royale (based on Ian Fleming’s first novel in the series), Bond instead orders a different drink.

BOND: Dry Martini.
BARTENDER: Oui, monsieur.
BOND: Wait… three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.


Heck, if it’s good enough for James Bond, then we figured that for mere college students it must be all sorts of delicious.

For our choice in vodka, we stuck with our favorite, Sobieski, which at a low price point sacrifices little in regards to quality. Definitely a good choice for those on a budget. For the gin, we went with the Bombay Sapphire–a bit pricey but given the huge differences between various gins, we weren’t taking any chances and in our humble opinion, better than Gordon’s.  And for the Lillet: finding this gave us quite a bit of trouble. Lillet is an French apertif wine consisting of a blend of wine and orange liqueurs.  Nowhere to be found in either EV1 or Jewel, luckily we stumbled across this single bottle of Lillet’ Lillet Blanc at Argyle after grabbing some Pho for lunch (Kina Lillet is no longer in production).

J&M Vesper

  • 3 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 oz. Sobieski Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 lemon twist

We added the Gin, Vodka, and Lillet in our ice-filled shaker and shook vigorously for a good 10 seconds. After pouring the concoction through the strainer into a martini glass, Maciek carved out a lemon peel. After a light twist over the drink to release the oils, we dropped it in and viola!  And what drink it was–it was quite strong and much of the gin taste carried through but unlike a regular martini (or bradford, if shaken),the substitution of the vermouth by the Lillet gave the drink a very, very slight sweetness which helped balance out the stiffness of the gin/vodka. Overall, a very good choice if one is in need of a strong drink and doesn’t want another run-of-the-mill martini. 😀

Stay tuned for more updates! Maciek will be putting up a post about our beef noodle soup that we made soon. Time for sleep!


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