How to make the Vesper Martini from Casino Royale

So you want to make a Vesper martini from Casino Royal do you? Well, this guy isn’t too far off the mark but to be quite honest a Vesper martini is fairly heavy on the alcohol since the standard martini, gin or vodka, is about 2 ounces. Or at least it was when I was a bartender, you know, back when the earth was still cooling. Anyway, the Vesper looks fairly simple. There’s 3 ounces of gin, that seems like an absurd amount, 1 ounce of vodka, Russian to pay homage to the double agent it’s named for, a half ounce of Lillet Blanc, and a couple dashes of Angostura bitters. Tack on a thin slice of lemon, shake, don’t stir it like this guy seems to insist on doing, and then serve it over ice or all by itself in a martini or tumbler glass.

This guy fully admits he’s never tended bar or even come close to one, aside from being a customer, so let me set this straight with my few years of experience. Martini’s can be made in a variety of ways, from the standard recipe to anything a customer can think of that doesn’t deviate too far from the norm. The standard pour for a martini has almost always been 2 ounces of alcohol, usually gin or vodka. As of now it seems that the standard pour is 3 ounces anywhere you look, so we’ll stick with that I suppose. It’s not hard to get people to buy alcohol, just get them drunk and they’ll agree that it’s a deal. Yes, that was horrible, but it’s a profession where the first and foremost thing that you need to learn is that the customer essentially wants to get buzzed or good and drunk.

Anyway, back to the recipe. The standard pour, now 3 ounces, is then followed by an aperitif, which in this case is Lillet Blanc. Aperitifs can be consumed on their own or as a mixer. In this case about a half ounce is added to this drink along with another ounce of vodka, making it a 4.5 ounce mixture of little more than alcohol. Then bitters are added to even the flavor out, which also lends it that pinkish color you see in the clip. And then, the garnish can be whatever the customer wants, but typically it would be a twist or a thin slice of lemon in this case, rubbed gently around the rim to add to the taste, and then plunked in the drink.

Regular martinis will usually be adorned with green olives, while gibsons, essentially the same thing, will be given cocktail onions. Keep in mind some of this information might be outdated since I haven’t tended bar for quite a while it would seem.

But the Vesper really seems like it would be nothing more than alcohol, since even the bitters contain a fairly high alcohol content. In order to really enjoy this drink you would almost have to be a partial alcoholic. Luckily for James Bond that’s never been an issue, or so it would seem.

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