The Vesper Cocktail

by Marta Burgués

The Vesper Cocktail is known for its appearance in the 1953 film 007 Casino Royale. Its bitter taste is native to Britain and its main ingredient is gin, vodka and Lillet, also called Lillet Blanc.

The appeal and elegance of this cocktail may be due to its crystal-like appearance and the curly lemon peel decorating the cocktail glass. This differs from the classic martini cocktail not only by the lemon peel decoration replacing the olive, but by the presence of both gin and vodka and the replacement of vermouth by Lillet or Kina Lillet.
The Kina Lillet is difficult to get in some stores, so some replace it with a dry vermouth and to mitigate the difference in taste some add a touch of bitter.

Kina Lillet is now known as Lillet and pronounced ?Lee-lai?. This is an appetizer of French origin, made from liquor, fruits and herbs. It is produced since late XIX century.

Lillet blanc is made from white wine and is drier than Lillet Rouge, made from red wine. It’s aged in oak barrels for about 12 months as the wines of Bordeaux, and its bitter taste is due to Kina (bark of Cinchona tree). Its reminiscences of orange, pine and mint make it worth the delight of many, leaving a long mouthfeel.

In 1980, Lillet modified its recipe to soften the bitter taste. Unlike vermouth, Lillet uses the same spices for its red and white versions, only varying the type of wine.

Vesper Cocktail ingredients

  • 60 ml Gin
  • 15 ml vodka
  • 7.5 ml Lillet
  • A twist of lemon

Vesper Cocktail Elaboration:

  1. Mix in a shaker 60 ml gin, 15 ml vodka and 7.5 ml Lillet.
  2. Serve in a cocktail glass decorated with curly lemon peel.

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