Gosh, that’s certainly a drink!
While James Bond is famous for his “Martini – shaken, not stirred”, this cocktail was actually invented by the character in the 1952 novel, Casino Royale. The full exchange, according to Wikipedia:
- “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’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 can think of a good name.”
- —Ian Fleming, Casino Royale, Chapter 7, “Rouge et Noir’
Later in the book he thinks of a name: the Vesper.
Ian Fleming, the Mixologist?
While I don’t know much about author Ian Fleming’s experience as a bartender or cocktail enthusiast, I can tell you he got this one right. While obviously a take on a Martini, it differs in its use of Lillet in place of Vermouth. It also features a three-to-one ratio of Gin to Vodka and finished with a peel of lemon.
While I may not agree with “shaken, not stirred” for this Martini (and, for what it’s worth, we stirred it instead of shaking), I do think Fleming (and Bond) are on to something.
This often forgotten Martini is ever so slightly sweeter than the traditional recipe, and the Lillet rounds out the gin and vodka beautifully. I would contend this one’s also a lot more drinkable – so be careful with it! It still packs a Martini’s worth of booze and can sneak up on you quickly.
That said – I think this is my favorite Martini of all!