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Vesper Cocktail

Long before the vodka Martini was shaken, not stirred (i.e., served weak), this Vesper recipe was the original concoction mentioned in Ian Fleming's James Bond novels.

This monster of a cocktail was described by Ian Fleming, and he immortalised it in the first James Bond novel: Casino Royale. It's named after a character in the book, Vesper, but was likely created by Fleming's friend Ivar Bryce. It's now difficult to get the original flavour, as the various drinks involved have been reformulated and have somewhat different flavours and alcohol contents to their 1953 counterparts. There are variations to the official Vesper recipe that do attempt to recreate that 1950s classic.

Vesper Cocktail


  • A Champagne coupe
  • 3 shots of Gordon's London gin
  • 1 shot of Ciroc vodka
  • 1/2 shot of Lillet Blanc
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Ice
  • Lemon to garnish

How to serve it

  • Pour the ice into the cocktail shaker along with all the ingredients.
  • Shake until chilled and strain into the champagne coupe.
  • Garnish and serve.

Variations of this Vesper recipe include using Tanqueray or Beefeater gin, which are somewhat stronger, and substituting Cocchi Americano for the Lillet Blanc to get the taste of quinine. In many cases, a cocktail glass is used. Some cut the recipe in half and sometimes include club soda to water it down, particularly given the quantities of gin involved.