Vesper Martini


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Introduction to the Vesper Martini

The Vesper Martini is more than just a cocktail; it’s a piece of cinematic and literary history. This crisp and aromatic drink is perfect for those who appreciate a strong, spirit-forward cocktail. Whether you’re hosting a sophisticated dinner party or enjoying a quiet evening, the Vesper Martini sets the mood for an elegant experience.

With its smooth blend of gin and vodka, complemented by the subtle herbal notes of Lillet Blanc, this cocktail is a favorite among connoisseurs. Its fame, partly attributed to the suave secret agent James Bond, ensures that it remains a timeless choice for any occasion. Let’s dive into the allure of this iconic martini.

Key Facts About the Vesper Martini

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 30% ABV
  • Calories: Around 210 per serving
  • Glass Type: Chilled martini glass
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

Interesting Facts about the Vesper Martini

  • The Vesper Martini was named after the fictional character Vesper Lynd from “Casino Royale.”
  • It’s one of the few cocktails that is better shaken, not stirred, to achieve the desired temperature and dilution.
  • The original recipe called for Kina Lillet, which has since been reformulated and rebranded as Lillet Blanc.

Vesper Martini Preparation

Tasting Notes

The Vesper Martini offers a bold and complex flavor profile. It’s a cocktail that appeals to those who prefer a potent mix with a smooth finish. The gin provides a botanical backdrop, while the vodka adds a clean, crisp edge. Lillet Blanc rounds out the drink with a light, fruity sweetness.

This cocktail is ideal for celebrations or as a sophisticated start to the evening. Its strong character makes it a great choice for sipping slowly and savoring each nuanced flavor. The Vesper Martini is a drink that commands attention and respect.

History of the Vesper Martini

The Vesper Martini’s origins are as intriguing as the stories of the spy who made it famous. Created by author Ian Fleming in the 1953 novel “Casino Royale,” it was James Bond’s drink of choice. The cocktail’s recipe was first introduced to the world through Bond’s precise instructions to a bartender.

Since its literary debut, the Vesper Martini has become a staple in the cocktail world. Its popularity surged with the James Bond films, where it was immortalized by the phrase “shaken, not stirred.” The drink’s history is a blend of fiction and reality, making it a fascinating topic for cocktail enthusiasts.

Vesper Martini Ingredients

  • Gin: 3 oz – Provides the herbal base of the cocktail.
  • Vodka: 1 oz – Adds a smooth, neutral spirit to the mix.
  • Lillet Blanc: 1/2 oz – Offers a slightly sweet, wine-like quality.
  • Lemon Peel: For garnish – Brings a bright, citrus aroma.

Did you know? The Vesper Martini’s creation was a happy accident, as Ian Fleming devised the recipe on the spot while writing “Casino Royale.”

Vesper Martini Ingredients

Vesper Martini Method

Creating the perfect Vesper Martini requires attention to detail. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Chill the Glass

Start by chilling your martini glass to keep the cocktail cold.

Prepare the Shaker

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice to cool the spirits as they mix.

Combine Ingredients

Pour the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc into the shaker.

Shake It Up

Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds to chill the mixture thoroughly.


Strain into the chilled glass and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Serving Suggestion

The Vesper Martini should be served in a chilled martini glass to maintain its temperature and enhance its elegant presentation. The wide brim of the glass allows the aroma of the cocktail to reach the nose, enhancing the overall experience.

The garnish is a simple yet essential element. A lemon peel twist not only adds visual appeal but also releases essential oils that complement the drink’s botanical notes.

Elevating the Vesper Martini

For those looking to elevate their Vesper Martini experience, consider these professional tips:

  • Use High-Quality Spirits: Select premium gin and vodka for a smoother taste.
  • Proper Dilution: Shaking with plenty of ice ensures the right dilution and temperature.
  • Express the Peel: Squeeze the lemon peel over the drink to release more oils before garnishing.

Elevated Vesper Martini

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Vesper Martini

If you’re missing an ingredient or want to try a variation, consider these substitutions:

  • Dry Vermouth: If Lillet Blanc is unavailable, dry vermouth can be a suitable alternative.
  • Orange Peel: For a different citrus note, use an orange peel instead of lemon.

Similar cocktails include the classic Martini and the Corpse Reviver #2, which share a gin base and aromatic qualities.

Add a Twist

As an expert mixologist, I suggest experimenting with these twists:

  • Infused Gin: Use a gin infused with additional botanicals for more complexity.
  • Herbal Garnishes: Add a sprig of rosemary or thyme for an herbal touch.
  • Bitters: A dash of bitters can add depth to the flavor profile.

Preferred Liquors for the Vesper Martini

The choice of spirits can greatly influence the taste of your Vesper Martini. Here are some recommendations:

  • Gin: London Dry gins like Tanqueray or Beefeater offer the classic profile.
  • Vodka: A smooth vodka such as Grey Goose or Belvedere ensures a clean taste.

Similar Cocktails to the Vesper Martini

If you enjoy the Vesper Martini, you might also like:

  • Classic Gin Martini: A timeless cocktail focusing on gin’s botanicals.
  • French Martini: Incorporates fruit flavors for a sweeter twist.

Food Pairings to go with the Vesper Martini

The Vesper Martini pairs well with a variety of foods:

  • Classic: Smoked salmon or caviar on blinis complement the drink’s elegance.
  • Adventurous: Try spicy tuna tartare for a bold flavor contrast.

Vesper Martini FAQs

Here are some common questions about the Vesper Martini:

  • Can I make a Vesper Martini without Lillet Blanc? Yes, dry vermouth can be used as a substitute.
  • Is shaking better than stirring for this cocktail? Yes, shaking ensures proper chilling and dilution.
Vesper Martini_001

Vesper Martini

The Vesper Martini is a sophisticated cocktail that gained fame through Ian Fleming's James Bond novel "Casino Royale." It's a strong and crisp drink, characterized by its unique combination of gin, vodka, and the French aperitif wine Lillet Blanc.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine British
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 210 kcal


  • Martini glass
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Ice cubes
  • Strainer
  • Lemon peeler or knife


  • 3 oz gin
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • Lemon peel for garnish


  • Chill a martini glass by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice water and setting it aside.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes to cool the spirits as you mix them.
  • Pour the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc into the shaker.
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously until well chilled. This should take about 15 seconds.
  • Discard the ice from the martini glass if you were chilling it with water.
  • Strain the mixture into the chilled martini glass.
  • Express a lemon peel over the drink by twisting it to release the oils, and then drop it into the glass as a garnish.


The Vesper Martini is traditionally shaken, not stirred, as per James Bond's famous preference. Lillet Blanc has replaced the original Kina Lillet, which is no longer available. The cocktail should be enjoyed immediately after pouring to savor its crispness and aromatic garnish.
Keyword Aperitif, Casino Royale, Cocktail, Gin, James Bond, Lillet Blanc, Martini, Vesper Martini, vodka

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