The original Vesper Martini comes from Casino Royale a 1953 Ian Flemming novel and is described by the international man of mystery as “a dry martini… in a deep champagne goblet.” His version is made with three measures of Gordon’s gin, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. He likes it shaken very well until it’s ice-cold. This updated version is stirred and gets a bitter boost from lemon verbena.
James Bond preferred this drink to be shaken. That’s probably because Gordon’s gin in 1950’s England was 94 proof; now it’s under 80. The vodka would’ve been stronger as well: Russian Stolichnaya was 100 proof. Today’s less alcoholic version is better stirred in my opinion.
- 3 ounce London dry gin (perferably Gordon’s)
- 1 ounce lemon verbena infused vodka (see recipe)
- ½ ounce Lillet blanc
- 1 sprig of fresh lemon verbena
Add gin, infused-vodka, and Lillet to a cocktail shaker ⅔ filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled 5‑oz or larger cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh lemon verbena.