The Vesper Martini Cocktail Recipe

Posted in Gin on March 7, 2014

If you have watched Casino Royale, you definitely know about the Vesper Martini. This is the drink of choice of James Bond and it was actually an invention of Ian Fleming, the author who wrote Casino Royale in 1953. Bond orders this cocktail in a bar without giving a name for it. He just says that he wants a special martini made with three measures of Gordon’s gin, one measure of vodka and half a measure of Kina Lillet. This is the original recipe of the Vesper Martini. Later on in the book, Bond also named its cocktail after a female character, Vesper Lynd.

It was impossible for the Vesper Martini to remain unknown given the huge popularity of Bond and of Casino Royal. The cocktail is different from a traditional martini in several ways: first of all, it also has vodka which makes it significantly stronger, secondly, it uses Kina Lillet instead of dry vermouth and thirdly, it is garnished with a lemon peel and not an olive. When Bond ordered this cocktail for the first time, he asked for it to be served in a deep champagne goblet.

Nowadays it can be pretty complicated to put together a Vesper Martini. However, complicated does not mean impossible. Some of the ingredients used in Casino Royal are not available anymore, but they can be successfully replaced with others. For instance, you are not very likely to find Kina Lillet anymore. This is nowadays known as White Lillet. You can replace it with Cocchi Americano. In what concerns the vodka, Bond himself says that it needs to be strong and, preferably, made of grains. Gordon’s gin still exists, but it was reformulated ever since the 50s and it has a lower alcohol concentration nowadays. You can use Tanqueray or Broker’s gin instead.

How to Prepare a Vesper Martini

You need the following ingredients:

  • 3 parts of gin.
  • 1 part of vodka.
  • ½ of Kina Lillet (or the substitute you can find, as mentioned above).
  • A lemon peel for garnish.

If you can’t find a deep champagne goblet, you can use a modern cocktail glass. Combine all the ingredients and shake until they are ice cold. Strain in a chilled glass and garnish with the lemon peel.

Leave a Reply