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March 24, 2023updated May 05, 2023

The Speyside Vesper Martini by Eight Lands

Cocktail of the Week: James Bond's signature serve gets a fresh makeover.

By Kim Ayling

The Vesper Martini: Few cocktails are as glam, nor are many as lethal. Famously named after James Bond’s love interest Vesper Lynd in Ian Fleming’s 1953 Casino Royale novel (as well as the 2006 film)the Vesper Martini recipe pushes any argument about gin versus vodka martinis out of the way simply by using both – we told you it was lethal.

The iconic story reads that Bond ordered a dry martini, specifically requesting “three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet.” It wasn’t until later, when he met Vesper Lynd, that his signature cocktail found its name.

Following Kina Lillet’s discontinuation in the 80s, bartenders and home mixologists have sought a worthy replacement, but in truth, any high-quality dry white vermouth will do the trick. (But we favor Dolin.)

The real consideration, however, is which spirits to use. While Bond specifically called for Gordon’s in his Vesper Martini, we’re inclined to make a small adjustment and instead use Eight Lands Gin.

[See also: Harrods Opens Interactive The Macallan x James Bond Experience]

eight lands vesper martini recipe
Replace Bond’s favored gin with Eight Lands / ©Eight Lands

Made in Speyside (there is more to Scotland than whisky, you know), Eight Lands Gin uses only organic botanicals – including the usual juniper but also home-grown sorrel and cowberry – to create its fresh, spicy flavors that lend themselves brilliantly to a martini. After all, if you’re only using three ingredients, each one has to be perfect.

Next, the vodka, and if you’re using Eight Lands Gin, it makes perfect sense to go the whole hog and use the brand’s Speyside vodka too. Like the gin, Eight Lands Vodka is made using only organic ingredients and adopts a two-stage fermentation process. It’s an unusual procedure in the world of vodka-making, but the results are worth it: Eight Lands Vodka is as smooth as they come.

Together, the pair make for a brilliant Vesper Martini. Both have their own distinct flavor profiles, but neither knocks the other out – it’s a match made in martini heaven. Eight Lands’ signature Vesper recipe adds a unique spin with the replacement of a lemon twist with a spritz of lemon essence (but you can add a twist too for aesthetic effect). In true Bond style, Eight Lands’ Vesper isn’t a dirty one; no olive brine here, thank you.

[See also: Dom Pérignon and Lady Gaga Reunite in New Campaign]

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Speyside Vesper Martini Recipe

Ingredients:

– ¾ oz Eight Lands Organic Gin 

– ¾ oz Eight Lands Organic Vodka

– ¼ oz Dry white vermouth

– Lemon essence atomizer spray

Method:

Spray three sprays of lemon essence into a chilled martini glass. Add the vodka, gin and vermouth into a cocktail tin with ice and stir (or shake, in true Bond style), before straining into the glass. Finish your Vesper Martini with one more spray of lemon essence. 

See more Cocktail of the Week recipes here.

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