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.


One thought on “007 moment – Vesper Thoughts

  1. Vespers, quite frankly, are a drink not made too frequently. I work at a bar that goes through a lot of martinis and to be honest, I usually forget what goes into them so I have to look into the bartenders black book and follow whatever it says since they’re so few and far between. Lillet isn’t a very common spirit so it usually sits in the fridge for a while. Kudos on asking your barkeep how they make their drink BEFORE ordering. Many times communication is the key to leaving happy instead of setting oneself up for failure with high expectations (only to be disappointed when someone can’t read your mind.) This reminds me to check my black book and make sure it says the proper proportions, if not I will make a note of it so when I make my “yearly” vesper it will be deemed worthy of Mr. Fleming himself!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.