“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?” ─Daniel Craig, Casino Royale
If you didn’t know, National Martini Day is on June 19. A classic cocktail that started gaining acclaim in the 1920s, the martini represents sophistication, elegance, and savoir vivre. Although that may be true, I have yet to find more than two or three people who actually like a plain martini... Still, such a classic deserves recognition ─ and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with the iconic martini drinker himself: James Bond.
There are three things James Bond is known for: being a badass spy, snogging hot women, and ordering martinis ─ shaken, not stirred. There are currently 24 James Bond films in the 007 oeuvre, with six actors portraying the dashing spy: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. While some have been better than others (basically, if he’s not Connery, Moore, or Craig, he can leave), all of them have suave sex appeal and a strong penchant for alcohol in common. And ever since Dr. No in 1962, which showed Connery ordering the now-signature vodka martini, Bond has been cradling more and more alcoholic drinks in his hands. Case in point: Craig, the most recent 007, has been the most alcoholic Bond by far (though he has had the least, shall we say, “coitus” out of all of them…#priorities?).
Even though I could spend pages and pages discussing the nuances of this spy franchise, I decided to focus on James Bond’s drink of choice because that’s one thing that’s consistent throughout all 24 films. Every time I watch a Bond movie, I think, “Wow, I want a vodka martini and be instantly cool.” But, really, how many people have actually tried a martini? Nowadays, it’s all about “craft cocktails” and “craft beer.” Craft, craft, craft. We’ve veered a bit away from classic cocktails, so I thought I’d bring them back!
Shaken vs. Stirred
But first, the eternal question: Is there a difference between shaken and stirred? Actually, there is! Both methods are used to cool down and dilute a drink.* The main difference is that when you shake a cocktail, you are rapidly cooling it down, which dilutes the cocktail a little more than just stirring it. Plus, shaking it aerates the drink and slightly changes its texture ─ the reason why you shake fruity drinks like margaritas.
The stirring method is best used for hard-spirit drinks like manhattans and martinis since you want to cool down the drink without diluting it. I know what you’re thinking: Why in the world does James Bond want a drink that’s shaken not stirred? You’d think a big, strong spy would want a big, strong drink. Well, shaking does smooth out the hard bite of the alcohol, making the martini a little more sippable. Anyways. I digress.
So, as you know, James Bond is kind of an alcoholic, so he has a history of partaking many, many drinks. However, I managed to narrow it down to five main ones. So now the next time you feel like having a 007 movie marathon (why not watch all 24?) or just want to view your favorites, now you can watch a badass spy and drink like one, too. ;)
From Dr. No, 1962
- 3 oz vodka
- 1 tsp French vermouth
- Shake the ingredients well with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a twist (or an olive).
- Optional: Add a dash of orange bitters.
From Thunderball, 1965
- 2 oz white rum
- 1 lime
- 1 tsp sugar
- Soda water
- A slice of lemon and a cherry, for garnish
- Combine the rum, juice of one lime, and sugar in a shaker with ice, and shake until properly mixed and chilled.
- Strain into a highball glass with ice, and top off with soda water.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon and a cherry.
From Die Another Day, 2002
- 2 oz white rum
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
- Several sprigs of fresh mint
- Club soda
- Muddle the simple syrup and a few mint sprigs (to taste) in a cocktail shaker.
- Add rum and lime juice.
- Fill the shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.
- Strain cocktail into a tall Collins glass filled with ice.
- Top off with club soda, and garnish with more mint.
From Casino Royale, 2006
- 3 oz gin
- 1 oz vodka
- ½ ounce Lillet (or another dry vermouth)
- Lemon peel, for garnish
- Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a large piece of lemon peel.
Keep an eye out for the 25th James Bond film in theaters November 2019, starring the beautiful and blue-eyed Daniel Craig. It’ll also be his last 007 film, so who knows who will be his successor? (Please, Lawd, let it be Tom Hiddleston!)
If you want to go all-out and play bartender, you can get this stainless-steel bar set on Amazon ($13.49), which includes a shaker, strainer, jigger, and stirring spoon ─ such a great deal!!