Every year when the Oscar nominations are announced, I immediately map out a movie-going schedule in an attempt to see as many of the nominated films as I can in the weeks before the awards ceremony. Alissa is my frequent movie buddy, but with all of these particularly heavy-duty films nominated this year, we just weren’t in the mood for a somber evening, which is how we ended up at the James Bond movie. Even though we were at “Skyfall” on its opening day back in November, we both felt compelled to see it on the big screen once more, and our second viewing certainly did not disappoint. (May we just talk about how inspiring Daniel Craig is?! Wow.) It only seemed natural to follow our movie-going outing with a proper Vesper, the signature James Bond martini.
Basically, the Vesper is a mostly-gin martini, with a touch of vodka for balance and orange-scented Lillet in place of the traditional vermouth. In “Casino Royale”, Agent 007 orders a dry martini right before a dramatic high-stakes poker game, but then he changes his mind: “Three parts 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?” I always appreciate attention to detail in all things, and this drink is no exception.
James Bond, quite pleased with his creation, names this cocktail after Vesper Lynd, his love interest in “Casino Royale”. “Because of the bitter aftertaste?” she asks him. “No, because once you have tasted it, you won’t want anything else.” I was always a classic martini girl myself, but now that I’ve started drinking Vespers on a regular basis, that is what I crave. Bond was right.