Most people in this world think it proper to take Gin when you are having a Martini. I am one of them.
There are a few misguided souls who seems to think that chilled vodka, placed within a reasonable vicinity of an unopened vermouth bottle also constitutes a Martini. They are, undoubtedly, wrong.
However, there is one drink that bridges the sides in this sometimes ugly argument. It was created by a hero of men, a seducer of women, a killer true and orphaned servant of her Royal Majesty. I’m talking of course, of James Bond.
There’s always something special about a drink inspired by a lady, and the Vesper is certainly one of them. Plenty has been written about the history of the drink, the fact it is mentioned in the first Bond novel to be published, the fact the original recipe called for Kina Lillet, a now extinct product featuring the bitter quinona bark, famously used to flavour tonic water throughout the Empire.
One thing that you don’t read everywhere is why Bond actually ordered it. Fleming was foreshadowing the doubt in Bond’s mind over the loyalty of Vesper Lynd. While those of you who have only seen the movie won’t know it, Bond was actually out there fighting СМЕРШ. A Soviet controlled spy ring, tasked with the spread of communism and the elimination of western spies. By calling a mostly English Gin drink tainted with a lick of Russian vodka a Vesper, it is the subtle plant of doubt that will unfold in the next few chapters of the book. Vesper is a double agent.
60mls Gordons Gin, 20mls Stolichnaya V0dka, 10 mls Lillet Blanc. Combine all ingredients over ice and shake until it is very cold. Strain up and inhale… Looks and tastes mighty tasty. Garnished always with a thick peel of lemon.