Vesper Cocktail Recipe

Teddy Francisco
Published on
by Teddy Francisco

Made popular by Agent 007, or James Bond, in the movie Casino Royale, the Vesper martini is a potent mix named after Vesper Lynd, his elusive love interest.

Bond loved his cocktail large, strong, and chilled, and one instruction rings a bell: “shaken, not stirred!”

Vesper Cocktail Recipe

Over the years, the Vesper cocktail recipe has been modified because most of its ingredients were reformulated. However, we’ve found different ways to tweak it so the recipe comes close to the original one.

Recipe Info and Ingredients

Vesper Cocktail

A Vesper is a classic martini variation with a relatively strong alcohol content. It combines gin and vodka, then balances the formula with a milder alcohol, Lillet.

The Kina Lillet the recipe asks for used to have a quinine flavor. Unfortunately, it was discontinued in the 1980s and replaced with a lighter, sweeter version with a dash of quinine. These days, bartenders prefer to substitute with a Lillet Blanc or a quinine-flavored aperitivo, Cocchi Americano.

Here’s what you need for this Vesper martini recipe:

  • 3 measures gin
  • 1 measure vodka
  • Half a measure Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano
  • A large, thin slice of lemon peel for garnish
  • A chilled cocktail glass for serving

Mixing Instructions

Follow the steps below to mix a great-tasting Vesper Cocktail, James Bond style:

  1. Chill a coupe glass in a freezer or add in some ice cubes and allow it to stand while you prepare the drink.
  2. In a mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour in the ingredients, and save the lemon twist.
  3. Shake vigorously until it becomes ice cold for about 30 seconds.
  4. Bring out the chilled coupe glass from the freezer. If you use ice, remove it and dry the glass before proceeding.
  5. Place a strainer over the cocktail mixer, then pour the mix into the chilled coupe glass.
  6. Add in a lemon twist shaved thinly with a peeler. Squeeze the peel to release its oil into the drink, then drop it in the coup glass as a garnish.

Voila! Your Vesper cocktail is ready. Drink responsibly!

Vesper Cocktail Calories and Nutritional Facts

Total fat0.01g
Vitamin A0.38mcg
Vitamin C3.23 mg

Alcohol Content of Vesper Cocktail

Making Vesper Cocktail Recipe

The alcohol content of Vesper Cocktail depends on the brand of gin and vodka you use, including the proof of the Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano. However, the original James Bond Vesper cocktail recipe is between 30 to 40 percent ABV (60 to 80 proof).

When Should You Serve a Vesper Cocktail?

The Vesper is a classic drink that deserves a special occasion like an anniversary, birthday party, or any celebration where you want to make a lasting impression on your guests. It’s also great for a cocktail party, romantic date night, or when you’re trying new cocktails with friends.

Tips & Recipe Variations

To customize your Vesper cocktail recipe, here are our top tips and some recipe variations to experiment with:

Tips for Making Vesper Cocktail

  1. The ingredients list is simple, so use only high-quality spirits.
  2. Adjust the alcohol proportions to your taste but try to keep it balanced.
  3. Everything should be chilled, from the mixing glass to the serving glass.
  4. Twist the lemon peel to release the oils into the serving glass.

Vesper Martini Variations

You can experiment with the following:

  1. Add a dash of orange bitters to get more depth.
  2. Adjust the proportion of Lillet Blanc to make a sweeter version of Vesper
  3. Add some fruits to the vodka for a fruity experience.
  4. Infuse the alcohol with flavors from herbs or cucumber before mixing.

Possible Ingredient Substitutions

The gin used in the original Vesper cocktail recipe is Gordon’s gin (94 proof), but you can substitute it with London dry gin, Plymouth gin, or Tanqueray gin. For vodka, you can use any flavor of your choice.

When it comes to Kina Lillet, several substitutes exist. They include Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc, and Tempus Fugit’s Kina l’Avion d’Or Quinquina. Also, you can replace the lemon peel with orange.

Vesper Cocktail Food Pairing Ideas

Vesper cocktail deserves a flavor combination that won’t overshadow its strong taste, like:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Oysters
  • Warmed olives
  • Marinated or grilled chicken skewers with lemon
  • Pasta with shrimp and asparagus

Wrapping Up

Unlike other martinis, Vesper doesn’t make you choose between vodka or gin. Instead, you decide which brand of both alcohols should go into the mix.

Have you tried this recipe yet? Leave us a comment below, and let us know how it went!

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Teddy Francisco
Teddy Francisco
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