Vesper Martini

two vesper martinis on a counter

I’ve always loved the look of a Martini.  They are sleek and sophisticated and conjure up images of Darren Stevens coming home from work and having his adoring wife and witch, Samantha greet him at the door – ushering in a delightful evening.  Or maybe it’s Don Draper and his cronies celebrating their latest advertising coup with a couple of martinis in Don’s office – as they smoke their filtered cigarettes.

The only problem for me – I hated the taste.  I’m not an olive lover and really don’t like vermouth.  So alas – I was left on the sidelines sipping my pedestrian vodka and tonic – which, don’t get me wrong, are delicious.

My husband has been a big fan of martinis for some time now.  Friday night comes and it’s martini time!  The whole process of shaking or stirring (usually folks are firmly entrenched in one camp or the other), pouring through the strainer and garnishing with three olives…it’s work that was wonderfully rewarded.  I wanted something just as cool.

Enter James Bond.  During this pandemic – if you’re anything like me, you’ve watched pretty much everything on Netflix, Hulu and Prime combined.  One day there was a James Bond marathon.  Now, I’ve always known that James drank his martinis, shaken not stirred.  I just never paid attention to what kind of martini he consumed.  Martini loyalists will profess that the only real martini is a gin martini.  Others love vodka-based drinks.  Both have vermouth – depending on how dry you like your drink – it’s either a splash, a kiss – or maybe you just leave it out altogether.  James drinks Vesper Martinis – which is a combination of gin and vodka, with a touch of Lillet and garnished with lemon peel.

Eureka!  This is a drink I could get on board with!  The Vesper is refreshing, crisp and packs a punch – so go easy.  And you just feel cool drinking them.  Just like James Bond.



3 parts Gin (preferred brand – Boodles)
1 part Vodka
1/2 part Lillet
Lemon peel for garnish


Fill a shaker with gin, vodka, Lillet and plenty of ice.  Stir – not shake (this is where James and I differ – but it produces a less cloudy drink) thoroughly.  Pour through the strainer into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with lemon peel.  Cheers!

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A great day for me is preparing great meals for friends and family. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and also updating classics that I've enjoyed for years. I love to travel and try lots of new cuisines - and wouldn't be anything without the love of my family!

2 thoughts on “Vesper Martini

  1. I’m a Friday night martini guy too. (After this pandemic thing is over …). I’ll have to give the Vesper a try, but I’m with you with regard to vermouth. My go to is a Black Olive Martini – just vodka shaken with lots of ice for at least 15 seconds and poured into a chilled ? with 3 black olives and a teaspoon of black olives brine.

    Just remember Dorothy Parker’s sage advice, “I like to have a martini,
    Two at the very most.
    After three I’m under the table,
    after four I’m under my host.”

  2. Never knew this Rman. Interesting trivia. So you chill you glasses? I like the drink so cold that ice crystals form in the drink. But I am a grey goose vodka drinking guy with a drop of vermouth. Onions are my favorite garnish. Oh no, is that then a Gibson? (But I also like olives stuffed with blue cheese also known as lunch). So many drinks; so little time? Thanks for posting!

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