Vesper Martini Cocktail Drink

Vesper Martini

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you want to make a standout cocktail, this Vesper Martini recipe has your name on it! This drink is elegant and easy to make with just a few ingredients.

James Bond's Vesper Martini Recipe

Make your night special with this Vesper Martini recipe! It's a simple mix of gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc that martini lovers will adore.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

285 kl

Ingredients

  • 3 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • ½ oz Lillet Blanc
  • Lemon twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Martini Glass
  • Lemon Peeler

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill, place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Combine Spirits: In the cocktail shaker, pour ½ oz Lillet Blanc, 1 oz Vodka, and 3 oz Gin.
  • Shake: Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into the chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon twist to the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: If you're out of gin, you can use all vodka, but you'll miss the botanical notes that gin brings. I've also tried using a floral gin for a different twist.
  • Vodka: If you prefer, skip the vodka and go all-in with gin. It changes the character but still tastes great.
  • Lillet Blanc: Cocchi Americano is a good alternative. It's slightly more bitter but works well in the cocktail.

Making a Pitcher of Vesper Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 24 oz of gin, 8 oz of vodka, and 4 oz of Lillet Blanc.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; they do a decent job mimicking gin's botanicals.
  • Vodka Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vodka alternative available in the market.
  • Lillet Blanc Substitute: Make a simple syrup infused with lemon peel and a dash of grapefruit juice for bitterness.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Garnish: The main cocktail is already vegan. Just ensure that any substitutes or garnishes you use are also vegan-friendly.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
285
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Potassium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.03
mg
0
%

 

Vesper Martini Cocktail Drink

James Bond's Vesper Martini Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Make your night special with this Vesper Martini recipe! It's a simple mix of gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc that martini lovers will adore.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 285

Ingredients
 

  • 3 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • ½ oz Lillet Blanc
  • Lemon twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Martini Glass
  • Lemon Peeler

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill, place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Combine Spirits: In the cocktail shaker, pour ½ oz Lillet Blanc, 1 oz Vodka, and 3 oz Gin.
  • Shake: Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into the chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon twist to the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: If you're out of gin, you can use all vodka, but you'll miss the botanical notes that gin brings. I've also tried using a floral gin for a different twist.
  • Vodka: If you prefer, skip the vodka and go all-in with gin. It changes the character but still tastes great.
  • Lillet Blanc: Cocchi Americano is a good alternative. It's slightly more bitter but works well in the cocktail.

Making a Pitcher of Vesper Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 24 oz of gin, 8 oz of vodka, and 4 oz of Lillet Blanc.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; they do a decent job mimicking gin's botanicals.
  • Vodka Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vodka alternative available in the market.
  • Lillet Blanc Substitute: Make a simple syrup infused with lemon peel and a dash of grapefruit juice for bitterness.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Garnish: The main cocktail is already vegan. Just ensure that any substitutes or garnishes you use are also vegan-friendly.

What is a Vesper Martini?

A Vesper Martini cocktail combines gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc. Created by Ian Fleming in the James Bond novel “Casino Royale,” this drink has gained a reputation for being both sophisticated and daring. Unlike your typical Martini, the Vesper Martini uses gin and vodka, setting it apart in the cocktail world. Listed among the “Contemporary Classics”, the drink is counted as an official IBA(International Bartenders Association) cocktail.

A side shot of a Vesper Martini cocktail on a stone plate placed on a white marmol table with a straw on the side surrounded by lemon pieces

What is a Vesper Martini made of – The ingredients

Prepare the following ingredients for your Vesper Martini:

  • Gin: Provides the botanical backbone of the cocktail.
  • Vodka: Adds a neutral spirit base, smoothing out the gin’s complexity.
  • Lillet Blanc: Infuses the drink with subtle citrus and herbal notes.
  • Lemon Twist: Serves as a garnish, adding a zesty aroma to elevate the experience.

Gin, Vodka and Lillet Blanc laid out on a white bar table

How to make a Vesper Martini – Shaken, not stirred

To achieve a great Vesper Martini, follow our simple instructions:

1
<p>First, chill your Martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes.</p>

First, chill your Martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes.

2
<p>Pour the gin in the cocktail shaker.</p>

Pour the gin in the cocktail shaker.

3
<p>Add the vodka to the shaker.</p>

Add the vodka to the shaker.

4
<p>Add the Lillet Blanc to the mix.</p>

Add the Lillet Blanc to the mix.

5
<p>Fill the shaker with ice.</p>

Fill the shaker with ice.

6
<p>Shake the mixture vigorously for about 20 seconds to combine the ingredients well.</p>

Shake the mixture vigorously for about 20 seconds to combine the ingredients well.

7
<p>Strain the shaken mixture into your chilled Martini glass.</p>

Strain the shaken mixture into your chilled Martini glass.

8
<p>Twist a lemon peel over the glass.</p>

Twist a lemon peel over the glass.

9
<p>Run the lemon twist over the rim of the glass.</p>

Run the lemon twist over the rim of the glass.

10
<p>Add a lemon twist to the glass as a garnish.</p>

Add a lemon twist to the glass as a garnish.

11
<p>Enjoy your Vesper Martini!</p>

Enjoy your Vesper Martini!

What is the difference between a Gin Martini and a Vesper Martini?

A Gin Martini traditionally consists of gin and dry vermouth, while a Vesper Martini includes gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc. The Gin Martini often features a 2:1 or 4:1 ratio of gin to dry vermouth, but the Vesper Martini has a specific ratio of 3 parts gin to 1 part vodka and 0.5 part Lillet Blanc. You can choose to shake or stir the ingredients in a Gin Martini, but a Vesper Martini follows James Bond’s famous instruction of being “shaken, not stirred.” While both drinks commonly use a lemon twist or an olive as a garnish, the Vesper Martini traditionally opts for a lemon twist to complement its unique blend of ingredients. Lastly, a Gin Martini offers room for variations like adding bitters or using different types of gin. Still, a Vesper Martini sticks closely to its original recipe for its distinct flavor profile.

A side shot of a Vesper Martini cocktail on a stone plate and yellow background, placed on a white marmol table with a straw on the side surrounded by lemon pieces

Vesper Martini Variations

Feel like a slight variation is in order? Try of these three:

  • Cocchi Americano Vesper: Cocchi Americano, an aromatic wine, infuses this classic, introducing a unique herbal and citrus profile. The brightness and slight bitterness of Cocchi Americano stand out, adding complexity and an intriguing twist. I appreciate its refreshing nature, which makes the experience more complex and captivating.
  • Dirty Vesper: Olive brine brings a savory, salty character to this mix, contrasting with the traditional elements. The saltiness of the olive brine creates a bold, savory experience. I enjoy how the brine’s flavor cuts through the spirits, offering a distinct, memorable taste that tantalizes the taste buds.
  • Champagne Topper: Topping this with Champagne adds effervescence and a touch of elegance. The fizziness and lightness of Champagne make it more celebratory, perfect for special occasions. I find the bubbly nature of Champagne adds a festive flair, ideal for toasting and celebrations.

History and Origins of the Vesper Martini – Casino Royale Cocktail

The Vesper Martini originates from the world of fiction, specifically Ian Fleming’s 1953 James Bond novel, “Casino Royale”. In the story, James Bond invents the drink and names it after Vesper Lynd, a character he falls in love with. Bond provides the recipe for the Vesper Martini to a bartender, specifying that it should contain gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc and be “shaken, not stirred.”

The drink quickly captured the imagination of readers and, later, viewers of the James Bond films. It became synonymous with the suave sophistication that characterizes Bond himself. Over the years, the drink has transitioned from the pages of a novel to bar menus worldwide, gaining a reputation as a cocktail that combines elegance with a touch of daring. Even though Lillet Blanc has changed its formulation since the 1950s, the Vesper Martini continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a cocktail with a story and a strong character.

Can you still buy Kina Lillet?

Kina Lillet and Lillet Blanc are both products from the Lillet company. The company reformulated Kina Lillet in the 1980s to create Lillet Blanc, removing some quinine and reducing its bitterness. While Kina Lillet was more commonly used in classic cocktails like the original Vesper Martini, today’s recipes often call for Lillet Blanc as a more readily available substitute. Kina Lillet is no longer in production, making Lillet Blanc the go-to option for modern mixologists.

A Vesper Martini cocktail, shot from above, on a stone plate placed on a white marmol table surrounded by lemon pieces

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Vesper Martini?
A standard Vesper Martini contains approximately 200-250 calories, depending on the brands of alcohol used.
How strong is a Vesper Martini?
The alcohol by volume (ABV) is around 40-45%, and the proof can range from 80 to 90.
What types of alcohol are used in a Vesper Martini?
Gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc make up the alcoholic components of the cocktail.
In which glass is a Vesper Martini typically served?
It's traditionally served in a chilled Martini glass.
What does a Vesper Martini taste like?
The cocktail has a complex flavor profile, balancing botanicals from gin, the smoothness of vodka, and the subtle citrus and herbal notes from Lillet Blanc.
What is the ratio of the ingredients?
The typical ratio is 3 parts gin to 1 part vodka and 0.5 part Lillet Blanc.
How is it served in terms of ice?
The cocktail is shaken with ice but strained into the glass, so it's served "up" without ice.
Do I need a cocktail shaker?
A cocktail shaker is essential for achieving the right texture and temperature.
How do I store Lillet Blanc?
After opening, it's best to store Lillet Blanc in the fridge and consume it within a month.

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