The Vesper: Shaken or Stirred, Mr. Bond? 

Zero Proof cocktail



Made by Sir Ian Fleming, updated by Jena Ellenwood

In 1953, Sir Ian Fleming introduced the world to 007 and his signature cocktail and the rest, as they say, is history. But what, exactly is the Vesper? I’ll let Mr. Bond explain his preference:

“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?”

This boozy variation on the dry martini features Kina Lillet, a bitter, wine-based spirit that is no longer made. We substitute with Lillet Blanc in this recipe—or, for a floral twist, Elderflower Liqueur. I also adjust the ratios for little more balance. And sorry 007, this recipe is stirred to preserve the silkiness of the spirits.

If you love this cocktail, check out our full cocktail library or our YouTube Craft Cocktail Making playlist for home mixology lessons as you make your drink. 

Vesper Martini

Let’s Get Stirrin’ (Not Shakin’)

Serves: 1

Special Tools: Jigger, Barspoon, Mixing Glass, Y Peeler, Knife

Difficulty: Easy


1 ½ oz Gin

¾ oz Vodka

¾ oz Lillet Blanc (or Elderflower Liqueur)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish your Vesper with an expressed lemon twist.
Suzanne making a sour face wondering if she'll like this cocktail
But will I like it?

Cocktail flavor profile

Getting to know your palate, what you like, and what you don’t like is a critical part of being a great craft tippler AND key to becoming a great home bartender as well! So before you break out that barware and buy the key ingredients, here’s a little guidance on what to expect from this cocktail so you can start to hone in on exactly what elements of cocktails you enjoy and which you’d prefer to minimize.  This helps you order new cocktails you love when you’re out on the town better as well!
  • Sweet
  • Spiritous
  • Refreshing
  • Complex/Funky/Unique
  • Botanical

Let me know what you discover, or if you would have rated it differently in the comments below…

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