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.