Looking for a stiff drink that’s stylish and packs a punch? Our authentic vesper martini recipe is perfect for both gin and vodka lovers. If it’s good enough for James Bond then it gets our vote!
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Why you’ll love this stylish cocktail
What ingredients do I need?
You’ll need all the ingredients shown in the photograph below.
Channel your inner secret agent and raise a Vesper Martini to James Bond!
How to make a vesper martini with step by step instructions
Making our vesper martini recipe is easy if you follow our simple instructions.
A full printable recipe and the measurements in both US customary and metric are available in the recipe card below.
Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes and add Lillet blanc, gin, and vodka, and stir until ice cold.
Using a fine mesh strainer, pour your cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
Hold a thin slice of lemon peel with both hands and twist to express the oils, then drop the lemon twist into your drink.
Serve and enjoy your vesper martini cocktail – cheers!
We hope you enjoy making and drinking our classic vesper recipe and would love to hear how you got on with making it.
Please leave a comment below and feel free to ask any questions you may have!
Recipe notes and expert tips
The history of the vesper martini
Think about a vesper martini and you think James Bond.
In his very first Bond novel, Ian Fleming wrote;
“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”
“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 thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?“
“Certainly monsieur.” The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter.
Bond laughed. “When I’m … er … concentrating,” he explained, ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well made.
I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I think of a good name.’“
Casino Royale, Chapter 7: Rouge et Noir
James Bond went on to call the cocktail Vesper martini, named after a Bond woman named Vesper Lynd.
The drink was originally made with gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc.
However, over the years different variations of the drink have been created.
Some bartenders have replaced Lillet Blanc with Cocchi Americano, while others have replaced the vodka with bourbon.
What does a vesper martini taste like?
A Vesper martini is a drink that combines the smoothness of vodka with the complexity of gin.
The end result is a slightly bitter and dry cocktail that’s perfect for sipping on in the summer sun.
Choose your gin and vodka wisely
Gin and vodka are crucial elements of this classic vesper martini, so you need to have quality brands.
If you don’t have quality, then don’t make it, because it’ll taste like rocket fuel, seriously.
James Bond may have ordered Gordon’s gin, but we prefer Hendrick’s, it’s much smoother and if you can’t find that, try Bombay Sapphire.
Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Gordon’s gin, we just feel that you can get better these days.
For the vodka we prefer to use Grey Goose it’s premium vodka but not off the scale expensive.
If you need something more cost effective, try SKYY vodka.
Shaken not stirred?
In Casino Royale, James Bond says to the bartender ‘shaken not stirred‘ because typically cocktails, that are made with just spirits, are stirred.
We prefer to stir our vesper martini to be stirred.
If you shake them then tiny ice chips are added to the drink, which dilutes it
What is Lillet blanc?
Kina Lillet was replaced by Lillet blanc.
Lillet blanc is a French aperitif wine that is made from white Bordeaux grapes.
The wine is then mixed with citrus fruits and herbs to give it a unique flavor profile.
It’s often served chilled and can be enjoyed either on its own or mixed with other drinks.
There are three different kinds of Lillet’s; Lillet blanc, Lillet Rose, and Lillet rouge.
Make it ahead
You can make a vesper martini ahead.
Simply follow the instructions below and then strain your cocktail and pour the liquid back into your mixing glass or cocktail shaker.
Place the cocktail in the fridge until you are ready to serve it!
More easy martini recipes for you to try
If you like our vesper martini, then check out these martini variations.
- Ice cubes
- 3 oz Gin
- 1 oz Vodka
- ½ oz Lilet blanc
- 1 Lemon peel
- Fill a mixing glass with ice and add gin, vodka, and lilet blanc, and stir until chilledIce cubes, 3 oz Gin, 1 oz Vodka, ½ oz Lilet blanc
- Strain into your cocktail glass. Then, hold the lemon peel in both hands and twist it to express the oils, rub the peel around the rim of your glass and then drop it into the cocktail. Serve and enjoy!1 Lemon peel
You don’t have to have a special glass to make stirred cocktails, use any tall glass that you have to hand or you could use a cocktail shaker Lillet blanc
Swap Lillet blanc for Cocchi Americano, this will give a little bitter flavor, much like the original Kina Lillet, and give you a more authentic vesper Low quality spirits
You can’t disguise the flavor of low quality in this cocktail as it’s only spirited, so make sure they are good! Making ahead?
Make sure you strain your cocktail and remove ice cubes, or your cocktail will be diluted
Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.
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