Vesper Cocktail Recipe - How to Make the Delicious, Citrus-Scented Take on a Classic Martini

If you’re a James Bond fan, you know what we’re talking about.

Photo: Getty Images
Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
1 cocktail

Ian Fleming, the author of the famous James Bond books, invented the vesper cocktail in his 1953 novel, Casino Royale. Bond himself orders the drink (duh) and provides very concise instructions to the bartender when doing so: "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?" And the stiff drink was born. The vesper, also known as a vesper martini, differs from a traditional martini in that it calls for both gin and vodka. It also swaps in Lillet, an aromatic honey-lemon French aperitif, in place of the signature dry Vermouth as the flavor modifier. The result is a citrusy, smooth, and super strong drink you're soon to love. (P.S. We know Bond liked his cocktails shaken, not stirred, but doing so dilutes the cocktail and lets little shards of ice into your vesper. Stirring is the way to go here.)


  • 3 ounces gin

  • 1 ounce vodka

  • 1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc

  • lemon twist, for garnish


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass with ice cubes, then pour the gin, vodka, and Lillet over the ice. Stir until well-chilled, about 20 seconds.

  2. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass and add the lemon twist garnish on top.

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