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Happy New James Bond 007 Year - Time For A Drink!

By: Greg Bechtloff
Published:
2019-12-31
Happy New James Bond 007 Year - Time For A Drink
We are on the eve of a new decade and the return of our favorite character of all time! Apropos of that, we present here a wide selection of 007 themed cocktails to properly usher in the New Year, the New Decade and the upcoming release of No Time To Die. Cheers!

Champagne is of course the traditional New Year’s Eve tipple and James Bond himself would not argue against a chance to celebrate Hogmanay* (the Scots’ term for New Years’ Eve) with something like Dom Perignon, Pol Roger or the signature brand of the films, Bollinger. By all means, shell out for some, they are worth it.

James Bond is a patriot though. Times have changed and English “sparkling” wines have made some fantastic inroads. Check out Chapel Down or Gusbourne to experience the best that Britain has to offer. British sparkling wine has even bested French champagne in blind taste tests!

If however, cocktails sound more festive for a celebration, let’s start at the beginning.

In the James Bond prequel novel Forever and a Day (2018) and into the first novel Casino Royale (1953), Bond drinks Americano’s. It’s a simple but elegant drink. Here is the recipe:

In a rocks glass with ice, pour 1 ½ oz. Campari and 1 ½ oz. of sweet vermouth together. Fill with club soda or seltzer water. Garnish with an orange wedge.


James Bond is also known to drink the similar but stronger Negroni. That recipe:

In a rocks glass with ice, combine 1 oz. Campari, 1 oz. sweet vermouth and 1 oz. Gin. 007 specifies Gordon’s but any regular gin will do. Add an orange wedge.


Let’s move onto the signature James Bond cocktail, the vodka martini.

Most bartender books have dubbed the Fleming martini described in Casino Royale as the Vesper Martini in order to distinguish it from the straight up vodka martini.

One caveat here, the recipe in the 1953 novel Casino Royale is not valid anymore since Kina Lillet has changed its formula in the ensuing years.

The revised version of the Vesper that will recreate the taste of what Fleming wrote is:

In a shaker with ice, combine 3 oz. Gin, 1 oz. Vodka and ½ oz. Cocchi Americano. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.


Speaking of the straight ahead vodka martini, William Boyd provided a simpler Bondian recipe in his continuation novel Solo (2013):

In a shaker with ice, pour a dollop of vermouth in then pour it out. Pour in 4 oz. of vodka. Shake and strain into a stemmed glass. Garnish with lemon peel.


Returning to the Vesper Martini, there is a lesser known variation called the Apricot Vesper Martini:

In a shaker with ice, combine 1 ½ oz. gin, 1 ½ oz. vodka and ¾ oz. Apricot brandy. Shake and then strain into a stemmed glass.


Jefferey Deaver provided his reinvented 007 with a modern variation of a signature Bond drink. Modeled on an Old Fashioned, we should call it the Carte Blanche. That recipe:

In a rocks glass with ice, combine 3oz. Crown Royal, ½ oz. Triple Sec with two dashes of bitters. Garnish with an orange peel twist.


Sticking with James Bond women, let’s not forget the Stinger, the cocktail of choice of the literary Tiffany Case in Diamonds are Forever (1956):

In a rocks glass with ice, combine 1 ½ oz. brandy with ½ oz. white crème de menthe.


Its definitely an old-school drink that not only evokes the Fleming Bond novels but also the “Mad Men” era of drinking.

Moving onto the cinematic Bond universe, let’s also remember that Madeleine Swann drinks a vodka martini “dirty” in SPECTRE (2015). For those unfamiliar with the term, “dirty” signifies that some of the olive brine is added to the cocktail.

Madeline Swann and James Bond enjoying a Dirty Martini in SPECTRE
Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) enjoying a Dirty Martini in SPECTRE. Copyright © 2015 Danjaq LLC. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). All rights reserved.

One of the things that SPECTRE did get right is that James Bond is not fussy or difficult about a drink. If his female company asks for it that way, Bond is not going to contradict her and order the drink his “way”.

We already know that James Bond likes his spirits and draws from a wide variety of sources and influences. As a man of the world, Bond likes to fit the proper drink to the locale; ouzo in Greece (For Your Eyes Only), raki in Turkey (From Russia with Love), sake in Japan (You Only Live Twice) and gluwein in the Alps (On Her Majesty's Secret Service).

But what does James Bond keep in his own home?


If you did get the blu-ray boxset of the Bond films and you have a high definition television, this question can now be answered. When M pays an early morning visit to Bond’s flat in Live and Let Die (1973), James Bond redirects his disapproving boss away from the carnal bedroom and into the kitchen. If you look really closely you can clearly see that James Bond has a bottle of Pernod there.
This has to be Bond’s own choice. I highly doubt that his Scots’ housekeeper, May, would know, or care about something as “continental” as Pernod.

Pernod is a French anise flavored liquer. Drunk over ice, it’s a sophisticated and very French aperitif. Its the perfect thing for entertaining sophisticated yet depraved continentals such as Miss Caruso.

If you do want to channel the ultra-smooth Sir Roger Moore, let’s give a shout out to Roger’s personal drink of choice, Jack Daniel’s. Taken neat, or over ice, it’s a great way to salute Roger Moore and his legendary friend Frank Sinatra whose favourite drink it was as well.

Another James Bond actor with his own signature drink is Pierce Brosnan. This drink was created by Salvatore Calabrese, the famous bartender of London’s Lanesborough Hotel and latterly, the Playboy Club. Probably created in tandem as publicity for one of Brosnan’s Bond films, the recipe is:

In a well chilled martini glass, pour 1 ½ oz. chilled vodka. Pour in ½ oz. champagne and stir. Using a spoon, take 1 sugar cube and douse with ¼ oz. absinthe or absinthe substitute such as Pernod. Light cube on fire and drop cube into the drink.


It sounds okay, but really, what it has to do with Pierce Brosnan is a little sketchy. I would have thought a drink with Irish whiskey was more suggestive of the Celtic Pierce Brosnan.

George Lazenby got his own Bond themed drink in 2019 as On Her Majesty's Secret Service hit the 50th Anniversary mark. Named The Lazenby Gin Cocktail, here is the recipe:

Chill a cocktail coupe glass with ice or in the freezer. In a shaker with ice, combine 1 oz. Melbourne Gin Company Gin, ½ teaspoon Poire William, ½ oz. Lemon juice and ½ oz. Simple sugar. Pour 3 tablespoons of champagne or sparkling wine into the chilled coupe. Shake the above ingredients and then strain into the coupe with the champagne in it.


The Lazenby Gin Cocktail
The Lazenby Gin Cocktail. Photo by Benjamin Thomson. All rights reserved.

(To be honest, this sounds rather highfalutin for good old George. My read on him is that a beer would be perfectly fine.)

Of course if all these grand drinks seem too daunting as a way to ring in the New Year you can always go back to basics. Ian Fleming was known to enjoy a Guinness every now and then. Red Stripe, the signature beer of Jamaica is always fun. Even the “champagne of beers”, Miller High Life is an economical and satisfying brew enjoyed by James Bond himself in “007 In New York” (one part of Fleming's 1960 short story collection For Your Eyes Only).

In all events, enjoy safely and have a Happy New Year. The fuse is already lit for the return of the cinematic 007. Here’s to a great 2020 and beyond!

*Hogmanay Cocktail: In a mixing glass with ice, pour 2 ½ oz. scotch and ¼ oz. absinthe substitute such as Pernod or Ricard. Stir then strain into a stemmed glass.

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