Vesper Martini – or Vesper
The Vesper is the famous cocktail 007 James Bond ordered in Casino Royale and is made using Herbal Advantage Cinchona bark mixed with Lillet Blanc to make a good equivalent for Kina Lillet! This adds a nice golden color and bitterness from the bark. Shaken, not stirred…
The Vesper according to Ian Fleming and James Bond:
“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?”
-Casino Royale, Chapter 7
I have clearly put too much time into researching this esoteric drink*;) winking
Here is as close as is possible that I have found:
The Kina Lillet gave the drink a slight bitter, astringent taste. Ian Flemming wrote Casino Royale in 1953 and the Kina Lillet Bond speaks of can not be found today, it has been reformulated and is now labeled as White or Blanc Lillet. It’s a brand of dry vermouth made in France. But that’s OK because cinchona added to Lillet Blanc and you have Kina Lillet. Bond’s glassware of choice for the Vesper is a deep Champagne goblet.
3 shots of something like Bombay Sapphire or any of the gins that are around 94 proof (but not Hendricks or the really herbal gins as their taste overpowers the Kina Lillet); I think Gordon’s now is 80 proof so would not be “authentic”.
1 shot of Stoli 100 proof vodka (comes in a blue bottle); the research suggests this should be grain Vodka, not potato Vodka.
1/2 shot of Kina Lillet*
Shake with a lot of ice for 1 minute as this should be very, very cold
Add the lemon peel…..I make a long slice of lemon peel off the lemon using a potato peeler.
* Buy a bottle of Lillet Blanc. Pour half into a glsss container (mason jar, large drinking glass, etc.) add 4 Tablespoons of Cinchona Bark Powder and stir. Let this sit over night, stirring or shaking several times. The next day pour this through a tee shirt or dish towel then pour it through a coffee filter. You may want to do the coffee filter twice. Put the cap on and stick in the fridge. This is very close to the original “Kina Lillet” that you just made.
Enjoy! This is a powerful drink as you can tell.