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10 James Bond Cocktails

What Does James Bond Drink?


Although the Vodka Martini, "shaken not stirred," is the cocktail James Bond is best known for, it is not the only one by far. There are actually many mixed drinks which the famous spy has through his adventures in both the movies and Ian Fleming's novels and all of them are classic cocktails (aside from the Vesper) - he does have great taste.

Vesper Martini

Vesper Martini Cocktail
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Although the "average" Vodka Martini is better known in Bond's adventures, it is the Vesper Martini that is the "true" Bond Martini as it was the first mentioned and the one that he claims to have invented in Casino Royale (and the only time he drinks one in the movies or novels). The recipe for the Vesper is dictated in chapter 7 as follows and is named for the lovely Vesper.

'A dry Martini,' he said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.'
'Oui, Monsieur.'
'Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large slice of lemon-peel. Got it?'

If you have not had a properly made Vesper Martini you are missing out on a fantastic drink.

Vesper Martini recipe...

Vodka Martini

Vodka Martini with a Lemon Twist
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We have all heard the line and many of us have used it in a Bond-like fashion on occasion ourselves... "a Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred." and throughout the series it is the catch phrase for Bond's (and Fleming's) preferred Martini. Besides Champagne, the Vodka Martini is the drink most often consumed by Bond (over 20 times), yet in the books it is outnumbered by another mixed drink, the Scotch and Soda.

Does James Bond ever drink gin martinis? The answer is that in the movies (to date) he does not, but in Fleming's novels Bond has a total of 19 gin martinis. There are also many instances in both mediums in which the drink is certainly a Martini, but it is unclear which spirit is used.

Vodka Martini recipe...

Scotch & Soda

Scotch and Soda
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

James Bond's desire for a Scotch and Soda was lost in the production of the movies but it is the mixed drink he has most often in the books (a total of 21 times). Of course a good Englishman will gravitate towards Scotch whisky, but he also had his share of Whiskey and Soda (most likely it was often with American bourbon) and even more Brandy and Sodas (or ginger ale). Simple and effective, these are quick drinks perfect for the spy on the go. Yet, while this quick mix was a favorite of Bond, he is also seen numerous times (just under Champagne in total drinks) drinking straight bourbon and straight Scotch (in that order).

Scotch & Soda recipe...

Vodka Tonic

Vodka Tonic Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

If Bond was that fond of Scotch and Soda, it's only natural that on occasion he went for the white spirits and both the Vodka Tonic and Gin & Tonic make appearances in his adventures. As with the Martini, the vodka version is favored over the gin and it's believed that the occurrence of one or the other reflected Ian Fleming's own preferences at the time of writing each novel.

In 1958 Fleming allowed Bond four Gin & Tonics in Dr. No and by 1963's On Her Majesty's Secret Service the tone had switched to four Vodka Tonics in the novel. In this instance Bond also adds one of my favorite "secret ingredients" for the tonics, Angostura Bitters.

Vodka Tonic recipe...


Campari Americano Cocktail
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The Americano is significant in the adventures of 007 because it is the introduction to his refined drinking style. This is the first drink mentioned in Casino Royale (chapter 5) but it wasn't until From a View to Kill that we learn when Bond feels the Americano is the more appropriate drink. According to the story a drink like this is better suited than his preferred harder cocktails when dining at an outdoor cafe (in this case French) and we also learn of his preference for "Perrier, for in his opinion, expensive soda water was the cheapest way to improve a poor drink."

Americano recipe...


Classic Old-Fashioned Cocktail
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Yet another classic cocktail which 007 drank on occasion, the Old-fashioned is once again one of those forgotten in the cinematic stories. Between Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die and Thunderball Bond's Old-fashioned count builds up to four, often with a meal or before that occasional sleep of his and it's almost always a double.

Old-fashioned recipe...


Stinger Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

The Stinger is possibly the most un-Bond-like cocktail if we think about his style. It is not only his favorite to share with Tiffany in the Diamonds are Forever novel, but in Thunderball it is paired with coffee at the Nassau Casino bar while drinking with Felix Leiter. As great a cocktail as the Stinger is, that touch of creme de menthe could be the reason it has not been seen in the films - it is not the manliest of drinks (see Negroni reference below).

Stinger recipe...


Popular Rum Mojito Cocktail
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On the flip side of the book versus movie appearances of certain drinks, the Mojito is one of the very few to be on the big screen but not in writing. This happens very late in the releases - 2002's Die Another Day - and is a possible reflection of the popularity of the cocktail at the time of production and was a fitting choice for the Cuban setting. As is his usual style, 007 uses this drink to introduce himself to the beauty of the story, in this case Jinx.

Mojito recipe...

Black Velvet

Black Velvet Cocktail
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Oddly enough for a classic English series of novels with this much drinking, a favorite like the Black Velvet is only mentioned once. In Diamonds are Forever Bond and Bill Tanner stop by the famous Scott's in London for "dressed crab and a pint of black velvet." Stout, Champagne and seafood, what a lovely combination.

Black Velvet recipe...


Negroni Cocktail
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In the short and obscure story Risicio quite a few drinks are mentioned, including the Negroni - with Gordon's gin, of course. At the same Excelsior Bar, Bond notes the odd use of the "feminine" Alexander as a secret signal by Kristatos.

There are a few other cocktails with a solo appearance in 007's repertoire including Pink Gin, Mint Julep, Irish Coffee and Rum Collins. Most of the drink diversity occurs in the novels while the films stick with the few star cocktails.

Negroni recipe...

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