How to Make the Perfect Martini — James Bond Style

James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) drinking the Vesper martini.

In this guide:
How To Make It
The Drinks

Here’s a martini created by a fictional character that now lives on as a classic drink! Yes, that’s right! I’m talking about the Vesper Martini. Now, many of you may question the whole “shaken, not stirred” thing Bond has going on with his martinis, but regardless of that, we can’t deny this drink certainly has got some unique flavours to it.

Fans around the world know how much Bond loves a fine cocktail. Many will recognize the Vesper Martini as the first drink Bond ordered in Ian Fleming’s 1953 book, “Casino Royale” (or the movie if you haven’t really read the books). Bond named this drink in honor of the agent, Vesper Lynd. To recap, Lynd was Bond’s special love interest who betrayed him by embezzling money to save his life.

Today, we’re going to teach you how to make the perfect martini — James Bond style! This drink is so easy to make because it needs only three ingredients! Well, four if you include the garnish.


To make the classic Vesper Martini, this is what you’ll need:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Three ounces of Gordon’s
  • One ounce of vodka
  • Half an ounce of Cocchi Americano
  • Ice
  • Large, thin lemon peel, for garnish
  • Cocktail glass

How To Make It:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients.
  2. In a cocktail shaker with ice, mix the Gordon’s, vodka, and Lillet Blanc.
  3. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Remember, shaken, not stirred!
  4. Squeeze the lemon peel over the drink to release the oils. Then, rub it along the rim of the glass before dropping it on to the drink.

The famous Vesper martini, shaken, not stirred.

The Drinks:

Cocchi Americano

You probably may have noticed something different in the ingredients. That’s right, we’re using Cocchi Americano instead of Lillet Blanc, and for good reason! In the book, the original order was supposed to be a Kina Lillet, which had a bit of quinine in it. However, the company has discontinued it. The drink was then replaced with the Lillet Blanc, which initially contained quinine, too. However, that added ingredient was dropped in the 1980s. This means today’s version of the Lillet Blanc no longer has quinine, which affects the drink’s overall taste.

The Cocchi Americano is the closest substitute to the Kina Lillet available today.

If you’re looking for a drink that closely resembles the taste of the Vesper, use a Cocchi Americano instead. It contains quinine just like Kina Lillet, so you’re sure to get a drink that tastes approximately like the original. However, it is still possible to use a Lillet Blanc; you’ll just need to add a dash of bitters to get that Vesper taste.

Gordon’s Gin

Gordon’s is a brand of London dry gin that first came out in 1769. Back then, Gordon’s used to be 94 proof (47 percent alcohol), but it has been reformulated since. Today, it contains about 80 proof (40 percent alcohol). Although Gordon’s is the one that’s specifically described in the book, it doesn’t live up to the taste and alcohol level that Fleming knew. So, if you really want to approximate that Vesper taste, you can use any top-shelf gin that contains strong botanical flavors. But personally, I’d recommend the Plymouth gin since it’s got some bold, fruity flavors.

Plymouth gin contains 41.2% alcohol with a slightly less dry taste than a London dry gin due to a higher proportion of root ingredients.


For the vodka, Bond never really specified what kind should be used, so that is completely up to you. However, there is one I can personally recommend. If you really want a strong James Bond vibe to your drink, I’d recommend buying a Smirnoff vodka. The drink first appeared in the very first Bond movie, “Dr. No” (1962). In one of the scenes, you could see the waiter hand him a vodka martini made of Smirnoff vodka. Since then, Smirnoff and the Bond movies have had a close relationship. In fact, you can see the Smirnoff bottle featured in many of the Bond movies.

Smirnoff contains 40% alcohol and is the largest vodka brand in the world.

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