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.