Cocktail Hour: The Vesper

Simplicity is the key when it comes to drinking while reading. You don’t to spend too much time prepping your drink, but you also don’t always want something as simple as a beer. This week we’re recommending a martini straight out of a James Bond novel.

The Vesper

dirty martini chilled and served on a busy bar top with a shallow depth of field and color lights and glasses in the background garnished with a lemon twist

The Vesper may be the most well-known cocktail originally created from a work of fiction. Many attribute the drink to James Bond novelist Ian Fleming in 1953’s Casino Royale. However, he would later give the credit to his friend, Ivar Bryce. Whomever the founder may have been, this boozy cocktail is a perfect choice for those reads that are a bit too heady for a sober brain.


While Bond may have ordered his Vesper shaken, don’t worry if you don’t have a set of cocktail shakers in your possession; there’s no reason this cocktail can’t be stirred.

In a pint glass, mix:

3 ounces of gin

1 ounce of vodka

½ ounce of Lillet (There it is again! Also try Lillet & Soda.)

If you don’t have anything to measure ounces easily (i.e., a jigger), don’t fret, you can use anything as long as you follow the 3-1-1/2 recipe.

Add ice to the glass and stir for about 35 seconds.

Strain the drink into a martini glass, garnish with a twist, and you’ve just made a variation on one of Mr. Bond’s favorite drinks!

Literary Pairing

The Dream Songs by John Berryman


You may not be able to have too many of these before you lose focus of the words on the page. Conversely this boozy little drink will slow your over-analyzing and open your mind in ways other drinks wouldn’t. Try tackling some John Berryman poems with a Vesper in hand.

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