So, I watched the 2006 Casino Royale today. Sadly, the reason I watched it was because of the Vesper Martini. I was waiting to see when and where this martini was invented. And then I made one myself. Sort of. I have done a fair bit of research on liquor lately, and what I have surmised is that Lillet blanc used to be called Kina Lillet, because it had cinchona bark in it, which is where quinine is derived. The cinchona bark imparts a bitter taste, that has been lost in the newer formulation of Lillet blanc. However, an Italian apertif called Cocchi Americano is supposedly the closest thing flavor wise to what Kina Lillet was. So, I made the martini with Cocchi Americano. And I used Tanqueray 10 rather than Gordons. But hey, improvisation, right?
As far as a martini goes, this is quite nice. It has a good balance of sweet from the vodka, citrus from the T10 and the lemon twist, and a bitter undertone from the cocchi. Definitely would make again when wanting a strong drink!
The Vesper Martini (named after Vesper Lynd, 007's love interest in Casino Royale)
This is meant to make one drink, but I split it into two, I had work to do in the AM!!!
3 measures of gin (I used Tanqueray 10)
1 measure of vodka (I used single silo, a boutique vodka from Woodinville WA)
1/2 measure of Kina Lillet (no longer in production, I used Cocchi Americano)
Shake with ice, pour into a chilled martini glass, and serve with a twist