Norman Bust

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James Bond’s 50th. Shakin’ not Stirred

Of course we have to celebrate James Bond’s 50th Anniversary in cinema (Dr. No, 1962) with the (almost perfect) Martini. And as you can see, James usually ordered a Vodka Martini, because if you simply order a Martini, you get a Gin Martini. Which is the perfect Martini (IMHO). And it is interesting that both James Bond and the Beatles both released their very first film and record on the same day fifty years ago.

From Ian Flemmings book, Casino Royale, 1953:

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 than 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 think of a good name.’

Bond eventually calls it the Vesper, named after the novel’s lead female character, Vesper Lynd. A Vesper differs from Bond’s usual cocktail of choice, the martini, in that it uses both gin and vodka, Kina Lillet instead of the usual dry vermouth, and a lemon peel instead of an olive. Although there is a lot of discussion on the Vesper, it is only ordered once throughout Fleming’s novels – although Bond drinks the Vesper (“six of them”) in the film Quantum of Solace – and by later books Bond is ordering regular vodka martinis, though he also drinks regular gin martinis.

James Bond Martini recipe

3 oz gin 1 oz vodka 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc wine

Pour the gin, vodka and Lillet blanc into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon, and serve.

And 50 years ago the Bond Girl was invented….


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MANHATTMAN is hosted by Norman Maslov, whose Agence Internationale, represents a small group of wonderful photographers. This blog showcases images from these artists along with scribes about music, films, food, gin martinis and hats. Pontifications from a native San Franciscan and his extended family and friends. So it goes.

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