Vesper Martini

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



Close-up of Vesper Martini, garnished with a lemon twist

There are so many different types of martinis, but the one that stands out from the crowd is the Vesper Martini. This famous James Bond drink is simple to make and will leave you with plenty of time to mingle with your friends.  

When you stir this up, expect one result: a little taste of danger before dinner. But be warned, you should probably only do one per guest. As Casino Royale author Ian Fleming once said: “I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad.”




Chill your martini glasses in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour before serving.


For a more diluted and slightly less potent Vesper Martini, shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker instead of stirring.


Vodka and gin are the stars of this Martini show (sorry James). So make sure you reach for premium brands.



1 Person

90 Ml

3 Oz

3 Parts

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

15 Ml

0.5 Oz

0.5 Parts

Lemon peel, to garnish



Pour the gin, vodka, and vermouth into a glass with ice


Stir until icy cold


Strain into a chilled martini glass


Garnish with a slice of lemon peel 

Vesper Martini: To shake or to stir

James Bond will be the first to tell you that he likes it shaken, not stirred. But what’s the difference in taste? As it turns out, quite a lot! When you shake this drink, the Vesper Martini ingredients will become overly diluted—and there’s nothing dangerous or spy-worthy about that!  

We love to experiment with cocktails—but when it comes to this classic recipe (and if you’re aiming for the perfect serve) this is it. When making spirit-based cocktails, the rule is to stir the ingredients until chilled (around 30 seconds) before straining it into a glass. Turns out as cunning and street smart as he is, even 007 can get it wrong. 

Substitution for the Kina Lillet

The original recipe uses Kina Lillet, but production stopped back in the 1980s. Lillet Blanc tastes like a slightly sweet white vermouth and there are a few good substitutions when making this Vesper Martini recipe. Our first choice is Cinzano Bianco, for its bittersweet flower blossom and herbal notes. Add a dash of bitters to get closer to that old-school Kina Lillet taste.  

The best gin or vodka for Vesper Martini

Unlike other popular martini recipes, this one calls for both gin and vodka—and for a good reason. The vodka helps calm down the overpowering taste of juniper berries from the gin and helps make it a drier drink. If you want to be a purist, reach for a top-shelf gin like Bulldog 

When it comes to the vodka, Bond doesn’t have a preference, but we suggest a high-quality vodka like SKYY. As for the vermouth, if you want something close to the original James Bond martini recipe, choose Cinzano Bianco and add a dash of bitters. It’s one of the most famous vermouths in the world and the easiest to get your hands on.

Best time to serve a Vesper Martini

We suggest you serve these fine cocktails as welcome drinks to melt the ice at your next dinner party. Because a Martini is a classic drink to enjoy before dinner, we suggest you serve your Vesper Martini with salty canapés and snacks. Great options are cheese platters, shrimp cocktails, stuffed olives, and crostini with different toppings. 

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A Vesper Martini should be stirred with ice, strained and served straight-up in a chilled martini glass and garnished with a lemon peel twist.