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The Vesper Martini


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#1 phaelon56

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 10:43 AM

Heard an interesting piece this AM on NPR about the $10,000 martini at the Algonquin in NYC (apparently it's a $50 martini with a $9,500 diamond thrown in).

In passing, the narrator/correspondent mentioned having tried a Vesper Martini, the original drink that James Bond favored throughout the series of Ian Fleming novels.

In a previous martini thread, slkinsey mentions that very drink, which includes Lillet but acknowledges not having yet tried it. He describes it as including gin, vodka and Lillet but the radio segment described it as "mostly vodka with some gin and a bit of Lillet".

So.... have any of you party animals tasted this beast and how was it?

#2 Keith Talent

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 10:49 AM

I've had a Vesper. It's good, but good in a way that seems extraneous in a world where ice cold gin and vermouth exist.

#3 slkinsey

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 10:59 AM

The drink comes from Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" thus:

"A dry martini," he 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 then 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."

He watched carefully as the deep glass became frosted with the pale golden drink, slightly aerated by the bruising shaker. He reached for it and took a long sip.

"Excellent," he said to the barman, "but if you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it still better."

He names it the "Vesper" (not the "Vesper Martini") after the hot female double agent in the book named Vesper Lynd. This is the only book, afaik, in which Bond drinks a Vesper.


There's a ton of press clippings about the Algonquin's publicity mechanism drink on their web site.
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#4 eje

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 11:05 AM

In passing, the narrator/correspondent mentioned having tried a Vesper Martini, the original drink that James Bond favored throughout the series of Ian Fleming novels.

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It is in Dr. Cocktail's book which I do not have handy. If I remember correctly, the drink was named after a female double agent, and Bond never drank it after he discovered her treachery. Someone else will surely have the book handy or a more accurate recap of the story.

I always thought it was more gin than vodka, like 2 to one, with the usual splash of infused wine, in this case Lillet.

Erik

PS. $50 martini? What is in it? A whole bottle of Gin?
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#5 kvltrede

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 12:07 PM

...He names it the "Vesper" (not the "Vesper Martini") after the hot female double agent in the book named Vesper Lynd.  This is the only book, afaik, in which Bond drinks a Vesper....

Sam's got it right. The Vesper appears only in Casino Royale. I'd describe Vesper Lynd as "beautiful and tragic" rather than "hot" but that's just quibbling. :wink: IIRC Bond compares Lynd to Garbo when he first meets her. So anyone looking to attach a visual image to this cocktail need only think of Garbo.

It's interesting to note that the Vesper wasn't called the Vesper when Bond ordered it. He ponders naming his cocktail the Vesper later in the book. When she betrays him at the end he apparently "loses" the recipe.

There's an interview with Dale DeGroff at NPR some of you may want to dial up. It's mostly about the new Museum of the American Cocktail but "among other tidbits, DeGroff reveals the real recipe behind James Bond's famous martini preference....". Dale simply states the recipe cited in the Casino Royale excerpt Sam posted but notes that Ian Fleming asked the bartender at his (that is, Fleming's) club for assistance with creating the recipe.

NPR interview with Dale DeGroff.

Find absolutely any and everything you might want to know about James Bond's taste in booze here.

Oh, and I think the Vesper is a very fine cocktail. It's a nice change of pace from a Martini. If you're in the mood for something like a Martini but not exactly a Martini a Vesper will hit the spot. Don't forget that Bond's preference is to use a grain-based vodka though...

Kurt
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#6 eje

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 12:45 PM

The drink comes from Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" thus:


"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?"

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So, am I correct in reading this as 6 ounces of Gin, 2 ounces of vodka, and one ounce of Lillet?

Large drink, indeed.

Guess there wasn't a lot of spying going on after dinner.

Erik
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#7 little ms foodie

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 01:20 PM

I don't know anything about the movie but I love Vespers! they are definately for me at least and 1 drink only kind of thing.

since i'm more partial to vodka than gin I also like a Montmartre- have vodka, half lillet.

#8 ludja

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 01:49 PM

The drink comes from Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" thus:


"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?"

So, am I correct in reading this as 6 ounces of Gin, 2 ounces of vodka, and one ounce of Lillet?

Large drink, indeed.

Guess there wasn't a lot of spying going on after dinner.

Erik

Why double it? Sounds like Bond's "large, very strong and very cold" Vesper before dinner was: 3 oz Gin, 1 oz Vodka, 0.5 oz (1 Tbs) Lillet.

I would cut it in half again for 1.5 oz (1 jigger) Gin, 0.5 oz (1 Tbs) Vodka and 1 1/2 tsp Lillet.
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#9 kvltrede

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 01:52 PM

The drink comes from Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" thus:

"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?"

So, am I correct in reading this as 6 ounces of Gin, 2 ounces of vodka, and one ounce of Lillet?....
Erik

Dunno, Erik, but I doubt it. Then again, I'm not enough of a cocktail historian to know whether "measure" had a specific definition in the early '50's. Nor do I know if there were "deep champagne goblets" back then that could hold the nearly ten ounces of liquor and water your reading would require.

My assumption is that a "measure" for Bond was a one ounce shot and that's how I make them. With melted ice that adds up to 5+ oz cocktail--quite large back then, I think, and still a smidge on the big side today. If Bond meant a 1.5 oz jigger, that's a 7+ oz cocktail--not ten ounces but, boy oh boy, still a huge cocktail. I don't imagine it would stay sufficiently cold though so I'll stick with my assumption. I think Bond was enough of a cocktail connoisseur that he'd have divided that much booze into two drinks that would stay ice-cold all the way through.

Kurt
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#10 eje

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 04:56 PM

My assumption is that a "measure" for Bond was a one ounce shot and that's how I make them.  With melted ice that adds up to 5+ oz cocktail--quite large back then, I think, and still a smidge on the big side today.  If Bond meant a 1.5 oz jigger, that's a 7+ oz cocktail--not ten ounces but, boy oh boy, still a huge cocktail.  I don't imagine it would stay sufficiently cold though so I'll stick with my assumption.  I think Bond was enough of a cocktail connoisseur that he'd have divided that much booze into two  drinks that would stay ice-cold all the way through.

Kurt

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For some reason I had it in my head this morning that a jigger was 1 3/4 ounces and a generous pour would be close to 2. 1.5 is the amount I should have done my math with.

Giving this some thought, in England the size of drinks has been regulated by the government for quite some time. Think of all those funny upside down bottles. A little web research leads me to the fact that a "pub measure" of spirits is 25ml. Pre metric system it was 1/6th gill (1/24th pint). An American 1.5 ounce shot is 29.7ml.

Probably an equivalent metric recipe would be:

75ml gin
25ml vodka
12ml lillet

Don't ask me to convert it to ounces, it will give me a headache.

I still want to know what is in a $50 martini.

Erik
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#11 slkinsey

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 08:42 AM

Convert-Me.com is a very convenient web site for converting all kinds of measures.

1 gill = 4 ounces = 11.8 centiliters (118.3 milliliters)

1/6 gill = 2/3 ounce = 1.97 centiliters (19.72 milliliters)

25 milliliters (2.5 centiliters) = 0.85 ounces = 0.21 gills


For all intents and purposes, the old bar measure of 1/6 gill was 2 cl and the new bar measure of 2.5 cl is 1/5 gill. So the bar measure became effectively 25% larger with the switch to metric measures.

What this means about Bond's drink is a bit more complicated. Casino royale was published in 1953. As far as I know, the UK begain to adopt metric measures sometime around 1965. This means that the original Vesper was probably measured in gills and not in centiliters. Something like this:

3/6 gill Gordon's gin
1/6 gill vodka
1/12 gill Lillet Blanc

Or, converted to ounces:

2 ounces Gordon's gin
2/3 ounce vodka
1/3 ounce Lillet Blanc

Certainly not a large drink by modern standards. Probably 4 ounces or a little more after dilution with water from melting ice.
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#12 phaelon56

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 08:55 AM

I still want to know what is in a $50 martini.

Erik

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Forbes.com has an article about The Most Expensive US Restaurants and mentions the $50 martini as being an offering at the Trump but the $10,000 Martini being at the Algonquin

The Blue Bar at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan offers a "Martini on the Rock" which starts at $10,000, and includes a diamond of the purchaser's choice. (No one has ordered it yet.) The World Bar in New York's Trump Tower is the home of the $50 martini, a mix of Remy XO and Pineau des Charentes, freshly pressed grape juice, topped with Veuve Clicquot champagne and a touch of 23-karat edible liquid gold.


The price at the Algonquin actually varies contingent on what size and graded of diamond is included in the drink but the stone included in the author's drink was described by the Algonquin as being a $9,500 rock. It was independently assessed after the fact as having a $14K "street price" but was resoled to a wholesaler for $7K after the article was finished (the proceeds were donated to a charitable cause).

I had the impression that the martini at the Algonquin was just a martini - and you're right - $50 is pretty damn steep for a mixed drink.

#13 eje

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 11:46 AM

2 ounces Gordon's gin
2/3 ounce vodka
1/3 ounce Lillet Blanc

Certainly not a large drink by modern standards.  Probably 4 ounces or a little more after dilution with water from melting ice.

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My illusions of James Bond as a lush are shattered.

I'll give it a try this weekend, I bought a bottle of Lillet for Corpse Revivers, and was looking for some other drinks to try it in.

By the way, for those of you interested in portion size trivia, while I was looking up English drink sizes, I discovered that the standard "pub measure" for liquor in Scotland and Ireland is 35ml, 10ml larger than the standard English measure. Apparently some English pubs have also recently started using this measure.

The World Bar in New York's Trump Tower is the home of the $50 martini, a mix of Remy XO and Pineau des Charentes, freshly pressed grape juice, topped with Veuve Clicquot champagne and a touch of 23-karat edible liquid gold.

Uh, is "interesting" the right word? <sigh> Why even call it a Martini? Super Freedom 75 Deluxe, perhaps?
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#14 slkinsey

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 12:53 PM

My illusions of James Bond as a lush are shattered.

I think he does that right up front when he says, "I never have more then one drink before dinner."

The World Bar in New York's Trump Tower is the home of the $50 martini, a mix of Remy XO and Pineau des Charentes, freshly pressed grape juice, topped with Veuve Clicquot champagne and a touch of 23-karat edible liquid gold.

Uh, is "interesting" the right word? <sigh> Why even call it a Martini? Super Freedom 75 Deluxe, perhaps?

They don't call it a Martini. It's the press that calls it a Martini (presumably on the premise that every cocktail served up in a V-shaped glass is a "martini"). The drink is the World Cocktail, formerly named The World's Most Expensive Cocktail. The price is silly, of course, but fundamentally it's a publicity thing (and it's worked).
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#15 eje

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 09:16 PM

So....  have any of you party animals tasted this beast and how was it?

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Didn't get to this last weekend, and since it is only Tuesday, decided to give a small version a try. Not the James Bond version; but, what I have handy.

3/4 oz lillet
1 oz finlandia vodka
2 oz boomsma gin
rocks to a third of an old fashioned glass or so
lemon zest

Very nice and clean. In fact amazingly nice and clean.

[pathetic attempt at comedy]

Am I drinking tasty alcoholic water?

Am I falling over?

Ooops.

[/pathetic attempt at now drunken comedy]

Erik
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#16 CtznCane

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 04:00 PM

A big thanks to Phaelon for starting this thread. I've never been a big gin, vodka or martini fan yet my s.o. loves martini's and gibsons. At least 3 nights during the week (if not more) I'll have one made for her when she gets home from work. As for myself, I now will have a martini now and then after learning about orange bitters from Winesonoma. That said, when I saw this, it seemed like a good way to add yet one more martini like drink to the repertoire.

Having gone out get the lillet (Lillet Blanc) I've served as well as indugled myself in Vesper's the past two evenings. My s.o. loved it and I enjoyed it as well. I used the 3 parts gin, 1 part vodka 1/2 part (3,1,1/2 oz) formula. I used Bombay Saphire and Chopin Vodka. As to the Lillet I could only find one Lillet Blanc. Is the Kina Lillet a now defunct brand? Yes, Chopin is potato vodka but I couldn't see it being better with the Seagrams Vodka I keep on hand to cook with. Guess now I have to go get a bottle of Belvedere to follow the books suggestion of better with grain vodka.
Thanks again though to introducing me to a new drink I enjoy. Though just what I need, 1 more vice. hehehe
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#17 slkinsey

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 04:29 PM

Is the Kina Lillet a now defunct brand?

Kina Lillet is the old name for Lillet Blanc.

Yes, Chopin is potato vodka but I couldn't see it being better with the Seagrams Vodka I keep on hand to cook with.  Guess now I have to go get a bottle of Belvedere to follow the books suggestion of better with grain vodka.

I honestly doubt you'll taste a difference by using grain vodka. But if you want to try one, get a bottle of Smirnoff. It ranked #1 in a taste test recently.
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#18 JAZ

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 02:20 AM

A variation on the Vesper is to sub a mandarin-flavored vodka for the plain. In that case I like a little more of both the vodka and the Lillet. Hangar One Mandarin Blossom is especially good in this drink.

#19 slkinsey

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 07:23 AM

I've been leafing through a copy of William L. Hamilton's Shaken and Stirred : Through the Martini Glass and Other Drinking Adventures that came in a package of literature I got at a recent gin tasting. It's a collection of his "Shaken and Stirred" columns in the NY Times, and there is a chapter on the Vesper as served at Pravda, a Russian-themed bar in NYC. Pravda turns the Bond formula on its head, as it might have been mixed by Bond's cold war counterparts on the other side of the Iron Curtain. It's 3 ounces of Stolichnaya Gold vodka, 1 ounce Beefeater gin, 1/4 ounce Lillet Blanc and a lemon twist.

What was really interesting, though, is what Hamilton had to say about Bond's supposedly preferred "vodka martini."

Bond was originally a gin drinker, appropriately for an English agent, and the Vesper was a gin drink.  The now familiar Bond martini, with its strict instruction to be shaken, not stirred, and its large vodka measure, is the love child of an early deal with Smirnoff vodka when the Bond movies became popular.

It's interesting, isn't it, how every time the popularity of vodka comes up the words "Smirnoff" and "marketing campaign" are soon to be heard.
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#20 kvltrede

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 01:13 PM

What's interesting to me, Sam, is how many people claim to know something about James Bond's liquor preferences without having done any research. I think all of the books are in print and, if not, they're easily found in any used book store. You didn't have any trouble finding the excerpt from Casino Royale that discusses the Vesper for your post above. Not to mention that this guy already did all the research and a little googling might have prevented Hamilton from looking foolish in the eyes of geeks like me.

Unless I'm overlooking something I haven't the faintest idea where or how Hamilton came up with the idea that Bond "was originally a gin drinker" and I find it particularly idiotic for him to say that the Vesper had anything to do with a Smirnoff marketing campaign. The Vesper appears once--in the 1953 novel--and the only thing said about the vodka is Bond's suggestion that a grain vodka would be better in the drink than a potato vodka. Sure, Smirnoff got involved when the movies started getting made but that has nothing to do with The Vesper.

I assume Hamilton is confusing The Vesper with the "vodka martini, shaken not stirred" but it's hard to imagine how he managed to do so in the span of a couple sentences. As for Bond being a gin drinker "originally", well, Bond's first drink in the first novel is an Americano and his second is a straight whiskey. We may as well say that Bond is originally a Campari drinker. Oh, yeah, as for The Pravda version of The Vesper, well, if it's 3:1 Vodka to gin, that ain't a Vesper. A Vespertini, perhaps... :wink:

Whatevah. This is hardly an important topic but it's amazing to me how some of this stuff perpetuates. It's not like old cocktails whose histories are lost to the mists of time. The Bond books and movies are widely available and, for the most part, more than entertaining enough so that doing the research is largely painless.

Kurt
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#21 slkinsey

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 01:46 PM

Perhaps I was not clear. Hamilton's chapter was about the Vesper as served as Pravda, but the passage I quoted was about Bond's drinking habits in general.

In the material I quoted, I think it's fairly easy to see that Hamilton is talking about the Bond movies, not the books. He's also talking about Bond's drinking preferences in the movies after the advent of the Vesper, and not implying that the Vesper was a product of the Smirnoff relationship. This seems fairly evident from his writing: ". . . the Vesper was a gin drink. The now familiar Bond martini . . . is the love child of an early deal with Smirnoff vodka when the Bond movies became popular." The emphasis is mine, but I think the distinction is clear between the Vesper and the vodka martinis that followed. In addition, since he says that the Smirnoff relationship happened "when the Bond movies became popular," it seems clear that this would not include Casino Royale.

If we look at the Vesper, it's fundamentally a gin drink. This supports Hamilton's assertion that Bond was "originally a gin drinker " when taking Martini-like drinks. After the Bond movies became popular, and the 007 series struck a deal with Smirnoff, the movie Bond tended to drink a lot of vodka martinis "shaken and not stirred." This is supported by the guy you linked to, who says:

The relationship between Smirnoff and James Bond began with Dr. No in 1962 and continued intermittently through The World Is Not Enough. In 2002, after being outbid by Finlandia for partnering rights to Die Another Day, Smirnoff announced it was pursuing a younger, more "social" demographic, thereby ending its forty-year relationship with the 007 series.

In Hamilton's defense, he continues in the article with the following:

Despite Bond's famed finickiness about what and how he drinks, he hasn't been true to himself, at least in the movies.  He drinks mint juleps in Goldfinger and rum Collinses in Thunderball. . . Only Felix Leiter, the CIA agent who is Bond's best friend in the series until he gets taken out of service by a shark in Live and Let Die remains faithful to the Bond martini.


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#22 kvltrede

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 07:22 PM

David Wondrich revisits The Vesper in the November issue of Esquire. Here's an excerpt:

...Here's the problem: Much has changed since 1953, when the book came out, and that includes booze. That English Gordon's gin used to be 94 proof; now it's under 80. The vodka would've been stronger as well: Russian Stolichnaya, which Bond had in mind, was 100 proof. As for the Lillet, it was reformulated in the 1980s to remove most of the "Kina" part, the shade of bitterness provided by quinine. But all is not lost: Tanqueray (Gordon's stablemate) is still 94 proof. If you can find it, there's a 100-proof Stoli available. The Lillet's a little tougher, but we secured some quinine powder from raintreenutrition.com and threw in a pinch. Suddenly, the electric guitars started twanging....

I vaguely recall reading that Lillet had been reformulated [Aha. Here and confirmed here (see 1986 in the "Discovering" section).] and I wondered just how different a Kina Lillet Vesper tastes compared to one made with the "fresher, fruitier, less syrupy, less bitter, more homogenous, more harmonious, more solid" Lillet. I'm plenty satisfied with a modern Vesper. Maybe it is, as Mr. Wondrich suggests, a little more Lazenby than Connery but count me as one who thinks Lazenby is unfairly maligned. Also, I have no interest in making my own tonic water but this article certainly rekindles my interest in a Kina Lillet Vesper. I might have to track down some quinine powder.

Dave, did you happen to add quinine powder to any other cocktails with Lillet that pre-date the '86 reformulation? I consider the 20th Century and the Corpse Reviver #2 to be two Hall of Fame level cocktails. I'm not sure what could be gained if they were slightly more bitter, especially if quinine is the cause of it.

Kurt

PS: the Bond's drinks site has a new article on why Fleming preferred his Martinis shaken.
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#23 kvltrede

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 03:30 PM

So, because I'm a geek, I'm re-reading Embury. In the Aperitif wines section in the "Limes, Lemons, and Liquors" chapter (1963 ed., p79) what should I come across but this:

...My own favorite French vermouth today is Lillet (pronounced lee'-lay), made by Lillet Freres of Podensac, France.  Do not confuse it with the Lillet aperitif made by the same company and originally sold under the name of Kina Lillet.  Except for Lillet, I still regard Noilly Prat as probably the best....{emphasis mine}

I'm not sure what to make of it. It seems reasonably clear that Lillet and Kina Lillet are two separate products but "originally sold under the name Kina Lillet" suggests that Kina Lillet has a new name that might lead to some confusion at the liquor store.

I don't think Embury is 100% accurate with every fact he presents--he's a little shaky on tequila IIRC--but he's revered for a reason and vermouth doesn't strike me as one of his blind spots. Not to mention that this edition is roughly contemporary with the publication of Casino Royale....

...I just took another look at Lillet's homepage and found this in the "1920-1930" entry on the Lillet history page:

England became a substantial market for Lillet, which created Lillet Dry concocted to better suit English tastes, especially when mixed with gin.

I think this makes it quite clear that Kina Lillet and Lillet Dry--later called Lillet Blanc, I assume--are, in fact, two different products. The Lillet site doesn't say anything about the eventual demise of Kina Lillet but I think we can also assume that Kina Lillet was available through at least the early '50's and probably through whenever it was that Embury revised the 1963 edition of his book.

...Now, this is interesting. A little more googling and turned up this page. I don't recall seeing this before. It's another Bond page with some Lillet history that's probably cribbed from the Lillet homepage. Apparently Kingsley Amis doubts the use of Kina Lillet in The Vesper:

Did Ian Fleming get it wrong?
Kingsley Amis, in The Book of Bond, claimed that Fleming had made an error in his recipe because the quinine in Kina Lillet would make the drink too bitter and it should be made with "Lillet vermouth" instead.

Probably Amis was referring to Lillet Dry (see above), but what is certainly true is that Bond was a little out of touch - by the time Casino Royale was written the original drink was known simply as Lillet.

Unfortunately it is impossible to test Amis' theory today; in 1986 the recipe was changed and the quinine content decreased to reduce bitterness. The result is a fruitier drink with a pronounced orange flavour.

I think it's fair to say that Fleming knew his way around a glass and wasn't mistaken in calling for Kina Lillet. Amis may not have found a Vesper made with Kina Lillet to his liking but if Dave Wondrich's attempt at recreating Fleming's original recipe works for Dave I don't have a problem dismissing the doubts of Mr. Amis (who also most certainly knew his way around a glass).

Kurt
“I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake--which I also keep handy.” ~W.C. Fields
The Handy Snake

#24 jmfangio

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 09:52 PM

Giving a bump to this long dormant thread, since tomorrow, 5/28/2008 is Ian Fleming's 100th birthday, and I know that I'm planning on raising a Vesper in his honor.
"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

#25 KatieLoeb

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:00 PM

That's just lovely. And I sincerely hope my friend and regular customer Tom, for whom I've been mixing Vespers for quite some time, will stop by. If not, I might have to drink one myself. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#26 Bunnyhugs

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:04 PM

I recently tried a Vesper variation where you split the Lillet component 50/50 between Lillet and Rin Quin Quin (another quinquina, but this time with a peach flavor).

Seriously delicious if you have Rin Quin Quin lying around. . .

The Rin Quin Quin has a little more quinine bitterness than the Lillet, giving the drink more of an edge. But simultaneously you have this lovely dry peach flavor going on.

#27 KatieLoeb

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 11:53 PM

The likleihood of some obscure vermouth showing up as available for sale here in PA is about as probable as monkeys flying out of my butt/ But I digress....

Nonetheless, I seem to have created my own monster by turning a couple of my diehard regular martini drinkers into Vesper fans.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#28 brinza

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:53 AM

The likleihood of some obscure vermouth showing up as available for sale here in PA is about as probable as monkeys flying out of my butt/  But I digress....

View Post

Hell, I was surprised to find Noilly Prat on my end of the state! (not saying that's obscure, but you know what I mean.) I'm just thankful that we have Lillet on a regular basis so that we can make Vespers (and Corpse Revivers).
Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

#29 KatieLoeb

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 11:10 AM

I have a preference for an orange twist rather than lemon in my Vespers. Seems to bring out the aromatics of the Lillet a bit more.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#30 jmfangio

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 11:16 AM

The best version I've ever made was with Junipero/Ciroc/Cocchi Aperitivo Americano, with an orange twist.

I still have an unopened bottle of Cocchi, but I haven't been able to bring myself to crack it open, knowing that it may be my last. I've been looking everywhere hoping to find some still in stock, but no luck so far.

I'd love to try that Rin Quin Quin mentioned above.
"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham