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Vesper Martini

Yes, I am going to tell you about one of my most favorite, and least known about drinks; the Vesper Martini.

As many people know, Ian Flemming wrote about a little spy called James Bond, or 007.  And Mr. Flemming had an affinity for Martinis as did his character, Mr. Bond.  In Casino Royale James asks for a Vesper Martini.  When the bartender does not what it is he replies:

“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?”

Well from then on, a legendary drink was made.  And it is one of my favorite.  I was originally turned on to them at a bar in Prague, Bar and Books.  It’s just off the Old Town Square and had quite an extensive whiskey and cigar collection.  One night I was in need of something else and looked at the menu, where I saw the Vesper.  Which made sense since there was a TV in the corner of the bar that only showed James Bond movies.

And from there it was love at first taste.  If you’ve never had one, you might want to try your hand at making one at home first. As I’ve found out, like a proper Mint Julep, a Vesper Martini is not always known by bartenders.  And a bad drink just is not acceptable.

At home I prefer for gin either Hendricks or Bombay Sapphire.

For vodka I prefer Stolichnaya.

And the Kina Lillet is a sweet French white wine. That is not carried by a whole heck of a lot of bars.  One reason is it needs to stay cold.  That is when it is at it’s best.  I try like hell to keep one in my fridge.  If you’ve never seen it, don’t worry it’s not a hugely popular beverage.  I can always find it at Top Line Liquor in Glendale.

And it being Southern California, finding a nice lemon to get a peel from is not a problem.  As I prefer my regular gin martini with a twist as well.


Make sure to have a fair amount of ice and a shaker.

And like it says above, 3 measures of Gin, 1 measure of Vodka, 1/2 measure of Lillet and a lemon peel.

Put the three liquids in the shaker, add plenty of ice, shake fervently, pour into a martini glass, wipe the lip with the peel and drop it into the liquor.

Done and Done.

Now consume.

Then Repeat.