Archive for the ‘The Vesper’ Category

Recipe: The Vesper

June 22, 2009


  • 3 measures of Gordon’s gin
  • 1 measure of vodka
  • ½ measure of Kina Lillet

Shake until ice cold and serve in a deep champagne goblet with a large thin slice of lemon peel.

History of The Vesper:
This drink was supposedly invented by Ian Fleming and his friend, Ivar Bryce. The cocktail makes its first appearance in Fleming’s novel Casino Royale, in which James Bond orders it while conversing with his CIA counterpart, Felix Leiter. Here’s an excerpt of the scene, taken from page 45 of the novel:

“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 can think of a good name.”

Of course, if you’ve seen the film, or have read the remainder of the novel, you’ll know that Bond later names the drink after the woman he falls in love with — Vesper Lynd.


  • Kina Lillet is now called “Lillet“. (Pronounced: lee-lay)
  • It’s said that Lillet is hard to find. Therefore, another dry Vermouth would make a satisfactory substitute.
  • Smirnoff vodka is recommended.

This article is not advocating the abuse of alcoholic beverages.
It is intended for responsible adults of legal drinking age.