How about a special Martini for Father’s Day? This Martini has a legacy: It’s James Bond’s Vesper Martini.
The drink was invented and named by Ian Fleming in his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953).
Thanks to Fleming, the Vodka Martini entered cocktail culture. By the second Bond novel, Live and Let Die, Bond is drinking vodka Martinis, starting the trend that pretty much replaced the classic gin Martini for many fans.
In Casino Royale, Bond orders a Martini with vodka in addition to the classic gin; then replaces the vermouth with Kina Lillet, a different fortified white wine.
“A dry martini,” [Bond] said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”
“Oui, monsieur,” [says the bartender].
“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?”
Later in the book, he names the drink Vesper, after his love interest, Vesper Lynd. It more properly is called simply a Vesper, since the ingredients have strayed from those of the Martini.
The catchphrase “shaken, not stirred,” entered our jargon in “Diamonds Are Forever” (1956).
Called a Vesper for short, the formulation of the drink has changed slightly.
Our tip: To get Bond’s “extra-cold” temperature, chill the glass and the ingredients—gin, vodka, Lillet and shaker—in the freezer in advance.
1. ADD the ingredients to a shaker and shake until the contents are ice-cold. Here’s how to shake a cocktail (video).
2. STRAIN into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish and twist a large, thin-cut lemon peel over the top.
*Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, American Beefeater, and Broker’s gina provide the traditional flavor of the original Gordon’s 94 proof gin. In the U.K., Gordon’s has been cut to 75 proof; a 94.6 proof version is exported.