Happy Hour: The Vesper

It’s time for another edition of Cocktail 101. Small talk ammunition, fully loaded.

Do you think it’s possible for a drink to be invented by a fictitious character? If you said no, you’re wrong. The Vesper is proof.

Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He goes by the name of Bond. James Bond. Ian Fleming’s quintessential character is the creator of this classic cocktail when he orders one in the novel Casino Royale.

“…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?” Bond states, a rare departure from his famously classic order of a “Martini. Shaken, not stirred.”

Fleming is said to have gotten the idea from his friend Ivar Bryce. Fleming inscribed Bryce’s copy of Casino Royale with the phrase, “For Ivar, who mixed the first Vesper and said the good word.” Only Bryce’s Vesper contained rum, fruit, and herbs.

To put yourself in Bond’s shoes, here’s what you’ll need:

3 oz Dry Gin

1 oz 100 Proof Vodka

1/2 oz Lillet

2 dashes Bitters

Shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist.


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