How to Make a Vesper Martini

December 30, 2014

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Today: Class up your New Year's with a Vesper.

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If you order a Vesper at Del Posto, it glitters like gold because it is gold. Order one and you can watch the bartender play Midas, floating gold leaf on its surface so it shimmers like the special occasion earrings you wore out. They did this on purpose, of course: You, your cocktail, the twinkling piano music, the gently flickering candles lining the restaurant’s central staircase -- you all match. And you’re feeling pretty damn classy about it. 

But really, the Vesper doesn’t need any help in the class department -- it was suave long before Del Posto went and floated precious metals in it, and for that, we have James Bond to thank. You’ll remember that he orders one in Casino Royale, dictating to the barman: two measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Let me set the scene a little more: He’s wearing an expensive-looking suit and a seductive poker face. He has a stone cold fox in a silk dress waiting for him at the bar. All of these things will start to chip away at your anger toward his cardinal sin of shaking martinis all these years

A tax bracket above the martini, the Vesper is what we drink when we want to feel fancy. It is strong and it is cold, and though it goes well with black tie, it doesn’t necessitate it. No swanky New Year’s plans? This cocktail is just as good consumed in your sweatpants, on your couch. Even without the barman and the evening gown-clad girl. Even without the gold. Pinkies up.  

Vesper Martini

Serves 2

1 1/2 ounces Ketel One vodka
1/2 ounce Tanqueray gin
1/4 to 1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc
Lemon peel, for garnish

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here. 

Photo by Mark Weinberg

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Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.


Jennywren December 31, 2014
I agree with J. I prefer this with Cocchi Americano too. From what I've read Cocchi is closer in taste to the original Kina Lillet which apparently was used in the Bond Vesper. Cheers J. and Happy New Year to all!
j. December 31, 2014
I prefer this with Cocchi Americano to the Lillet; I like Lillet but it's just too sweet in this. Three parts gin, one part vodka, one part Cocchi, lemon peel.
Griff G. December 31, 2014
I love the vesper cocktail. My preferred recipe is from PDT, which calls for 2.25oz. Plymouth Gin, .75 Belveder Vodka, and .5oz.Lillet Blanc.
adambravo December 30, 2014
So, why flip the proportions of gin and vodka from the original?
Dennis R. December 31, 2014
I was about to mention that as well.

At a bar I ordered martini once, and the bartender asked "gin or vodka martini?" and I said "Gin of course, it's a martini." He stopped stared at me for a second and said "thank you."
Jara December 30, 2014
Does this really serve two? 2.5 ounces is a small pour for one martini, and dividing it in two would be a shot.
Mark F. December 31, 2014
Agree 100%. No way does this add up to two cocktails.