007 moment – Vesper Thoughts

The Vesper was first described in Ian Flemings 1953 “Casino Royale” as:  “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.”

Why do people mess with the recipe?  I was in a very respected restaurant the other day and I noticed the Vesper in the drink menu and that they were using my preferred gin.  I thought I’d give it a try but first I asked the barkeep for their recipe (I’d been through this before).

Not surprisingly the barkeep said they mixed equal portions of Gin and Vodka.  Why?  The original creation of a Vesper is clear as is the IBA Official Cocktail description – 3:1 Gin to Vodka proportions.  Reversing the proportions, which I’ve seen, or equalizing the proportions changes the tasted significantly.

I asked that my Vesper be constructed with the correct proportions and, of course, the barkeep was quite happy to oblige.  It was excellent.

All I can figure is that Bars change the proportions to appeal to the masses of Vodka drinkers.   Such a shame.