Recreating Bond's old drink with new twists

"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?"

Ah, the Vesper, made in "a deep champagne goblet" at the instruction of James Bond.

The fictional spy's beverage preferences always pop up when a new Bond film is released, so it's time to again look at his recipes in relation to the debut tomorrow of "Quantum of Solace," starring Daniel Craig in a tale that takes up where "Casino Royale" left off.

The problem is, we no longer can make a Vesper according to writer Ian Fleming's original specifications when he wrote the "Casino Royale" novel back in 1953. That's because Kina Lillet doesn't exist anymore, unless you happen to come across an old bottle that's been hanging around somewhere,

However, I can vouch for Lillet Blanc. The herbal French aperitif shares some botanical properties with a good gin, but has less of a palate-punching effect. The original Kina Lillet was a bit more bitter, so a drop or two of bitters might make your Vesper taste more like the original.

Trivia question: Where did Fleming come up with the name "Vesper" for the cocktail? (It was for Vesper Lynd, the heroine of the tale.)

[For a complete set of cocktail recipes from all the Bond novels, go here.]

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