The Ultimate Vesper Cocktail: James Bond’s Iconic Drink

Classic James Bond Vesper Martini Cocktail Recipe

Shake up sophistication with 007’s legendary libation, it’s time for Vesper Cocktail!

Born in the pages of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale in 1953, the Vesper cocktail has become a symbol of Bond’s suave persona. While it may not be as common in bars as its literary fame suggests, this drink deserves a spot in every cocktail enthusiast’s repertoire.

The Vesper is a brilliant fusion of gin and vodka martinis, with a unique twist. Instead of dry vermouth, Bond’s recipe calls for Kina Lillet, adding depth and complexity to this already intriguing mix.

Modern bartenders face a challenge: Kina Lillet was reformulated in the 1980s, losing its distinctive bitter edge. Some mixologists suggest Cocchi Aperitivo Americano as a worthy substitute, claiming it closely mimics the original Kina Lillet’s profile.

Crafting your Vesper: Choose a premium vodka that suits your palate. For gin, stick to classic London dry styles like Tanqueray or Beefeater to maintain authenticity. Feeling adventurous? Try making two versions – one with Lillet Blanc and another with Cocchi Americano. Compare the subtle differences and decide which you prefer.

A word of caution: Bond’s original recipe packs a serious punch. Unless you’re planning to save the world (or have a designated driver), consider halving the portions or sharing with a fellow secret agent.

The Lillet version offers a smooth, floral experience with citrus undertones, while the Cocchi variation delivers a crisp, pleasantly bitter finish. Which Vesper reigns supreme? The mission is yours to decide.

The Vesper Cocktail Recipe


  • 3 ounces London dry gin
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Aperitivo Americano
  • Wide strip of lemon zest, for garnish


  1. Combine gin, vodka, and Lillet (or Cocchi) in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir vigorously for about 20 seconds until well-chilled. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. For the authentic Bond experience, shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice for 10 seconds – this creates a slightly cloudy, effervescent texture. Express the oils from a wide lemon zest over the drink and use as a garnish.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
142 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2
Amount per serving
Calories 142
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 12mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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