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Jan 18, 2009 01:24 AM

drink like james bond

here you can find the recipes to emulate bond's drinks

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  1. But why would you want to? I disagree with the article that Ian Fleming had style when it came to drinks. Except that Bond liked Bollinger and mint juleps. Otherwise most of the drinks he ordered were nothing special and the whole vodka martini thing set cocktails back 50 years.

    16 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      cocktails set back 50 years? surely you jest.

      i posted the article for the pop culture aspect as much as the recipes.

      and in the original ian fleming novels , bond drank gin martinis. as this time article notes, the movie producers -- not fleming -- introduced a vodka martini and "rewrote the liquor guidelines in Fleming's books."

      maybe i recall one or two juleps, but not his regular choice -- he was a guest. the other films***, and their drink promotions, are just made up. (i don't recall a rum collins in thunderball, but it has been a while since i read that.), bollinger, you don't drink that, either? ;-).

      NOT IN ORIGINAL FLEMING NOVEL (IIRC) Vesper Martini (Casino Royale).

      (?) (Rum Collins (Thunderball


      YEP. Mint Julep (Goldfinger)

      (?) Gluhwein (For Your Eyes Only)

      NO SUCH FLEMING NOVEL Mojito (Die Another Day)
      NO SUCH FLEMING NOVEL Spicy Bloody Mary (Never Say Never Again)
      NO SUCH FLEMING NOVEL Bond Does Beer (License to Kill)

      apparently "quantum of solace" was a fleming short story.

      1. re: alkapal

        The Vesper was indeed written in Casino Royale.

        "A dry martini," [Bond] 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'," 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."

        The vodka martini's rise to prominence is very easily traced: the first Bond movie, Dr. No. Smirnoff paid a handsome sum to be featured quite prominently in the movie.

        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          aah, jk, thank you for that! have you ever tried it? it wasn't called a vesper martini, though, was it?

          smirnoff's "handsome sum" seems to have been a great investment, wouldn't you say? any idea how much they paid?

          1. re: alkapal

            I have tried it. It's a nice variation on the regular martini. To really get it right you want to use Tanqueray (the Gordon's in America is only 80 proof, Tanqueray is 92), and 100 proof vodka. Kina Lillet can't be found anymore, so Lillet Blanc works perfectly well in its place.

            3 ounces Tanqueray gin
            1 ounce 100 proof vodka
            1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc

            Shake well with ice, strain into martini glass, garnish with lemon twist.

            I have no idea how much they paid for the product placement, but the investment has surely paid for itself many times over at this point.

            As for how it got its name...
            Bond: "I think I'll call it a Vesper."
            Vesper Lynd: "Because of the bitter aftertaste?"
            Bond: "No, because once you've tasted it, that's all you want to drink."

            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

              I understand that Kina Lillet was quite bitter -- perhaps you could add several dashes of orange bitters (Regan's, which are actually somewhat bitter) to get closer to the original?

              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                David Wondrich suggests adding some quinine powder to today's version of Lillet to better replicate Kina Lillet. I know everyone has a pantry full of quinine powder burning a hole in their cabinets, but nonetheless it would be interesting to try ...


                1. re: skb104

                  I don't have any quinine, but I do have Cinchona bark at work. (I'm slowly working on my gin recipe.) I think a 1/4 oz steeped in a bottle for 3-4 days would work well.

                  1. re: JMF

                    I tried steeping Cinchona in some Lillet Blanc. The results were okay but I couldn't find a balance that I like. I will warn you that a 3-4 steep will be much too long. I steeped for 10-20 minutes and found the 10 minute batch added the desired bitterness. You can read my full bit on my site if you want more details.


              2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                jk, you are good! i have all my bond paperbacks squirreled away in the basement. you have casino royale at hand.

                gordon's gin is ok quality-wise here for other gin drinks? or do you need 100 proof for all gin drinks?

                i always loved the double entendres in bond's dialogues!
                Bond: "I think I'll call it a Vesper."
                Vesper Lynd: "Because of the bitter aftertaste?"
                Bond: "No, because once you've tasted it, that's all you want to drink."

                "oh, jaaaaaames!" ;-).

                1. re: alkapal

                  Davis: Ah, there's the rub with bitters- most of them aren't all that bitter. I can't say one way or the other with the Regan's bitters since I haven't had them yet, but when you say "bitter" and I'm behind the stick, I instinctively reach for Campari. Try rinsing the mixing glass with Campari; a little is going to go a very long way.

                  Alkapal: I think that Gordon's is OK (I'm quite happy to have it as the house gin where I work), but the American bottling is neutered to 80 proof, allegedly to fit American tastes. I say they're just being cheap with the active ingredient, much like the 70-proof Three Olives flavored vodkas. That's why I recommend Tanqueray: American Tanqueray is closer to British Gordon's than American Gordon's is. You certainly can use Gordon's and the vodka you have on the shelf and it will still be a marvelous tipple, but the one with Tanqueray and 100 proof vodka is going to be closer to what 007 would have actually drank.

                  I just keep the important bits of trivia such as that line on hand for such occasions ;-)

                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                    JK has the knowing of it re: the Gordons, which used to be 94 proof. I personally prefer using Hendricks with (Vya or Lillet) for my Vesper.

                    Regan's (iirc from Kentucky) has good bitterness and I like it a lot. In fact there is a story that he had to redo his recipe multiple times before he was "allowed" to market it because they powers that be didn't want people trying to drink it straight since it is typically sold in non ABC stores.

                    1. re: fussycouple

                      It's more than just ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control for those without them) stores. Bitters fall into two categories, potable and non-potable. Campari is an excellent example of a potable bitter, and Angostura is considered non-potable. If it's potable, it's treated like any other alcoholic beverage by the laws in your state. Non-potable bitters are treated like ordinary grocery items; they aren't taxed at the same rate as alcohol, and you can buy it if you're under 21. Regan did indeed have to re-work the recipe to make it non-potable; for Gaz's full story, go to and look toward the bottom of the page.

                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                        jk, "aromatic bitters" i presume are the non-potable type? or not necessarily? (i just saw a dip recipe using them...a seafood-y dip, iirc.).

                        1. re: alkapal

                          They mean Angostura but didn't want to specify a brand name.

                2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  jk, i see the mods removed my portion of our gin discussion -- not sure why? anyhow, mr. alka just returned from london heathrow, and was unable to get gordon's 100 proof gin in duty-free.

            2. re: alkapal

              "Quantum of Solace" (set in Naussau and featuring cigars and brandy) was indeed a short story by Ian Fleming, as you point out. So, too, were "Octopussy" (brandy & ginger ale), "The Living Daylights" (Haig Dimple Pinch Scotch Whisky), "From a View to a Kill" (an Americano), "For Your Eyes Only" (Bond is drinking coffee and brandy from a thermos) . . .

          2. Nonono, you see, this is how James Bond drinks


            Champagne, all the way.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Xaga

              boy howdy, xaga, you hit the nail on the head. what a great site. thank you! thankyouverymuch. ;-).