The real reason James Bond is awesome.

I’m sure you all think it’s because he’s badass. Or sexy. Or serious in that “it really turns me on” kind of way. Or a combination of all of those. But you would be wrong.

James Bond is awesome because he created the most amazing martini known to man.

For those of you who haven’t seen Casino Royale, go away. You need to watch that movie immediately. Because in it, you shall soon learn, Mr. Bond (aka Daniel Craig of the piercing blue eyes) orders an incredible cocktail, which he names the Vesper after his ooh-la-la lady friend.

If you remember what’s in the Vesper off the top of your head, you and I need to meet. Because even I couldn’t recite it from memory. But, thanks to Google, I can recreate it verbatim:

“Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet, shake it over ice and add a thin slice of lemon peel.”

All recited in the utmost seriousness while Bond stares into the eyes of his nemesis.

But that’s not important.

What is important is that I have actually tasted that cocktail. It is served at a lovely little retro bar down the street from my apartment. And, more importantly, it is the best martini I have ever savored. Seriously.

I do love martinis. Gin, dry, and if it’s gin-on-a-budget, then slightly dirty as well. But the Vesper was another story. It was like drinking a dry martini, but without the bite. It had flavor, but there was no bitterness. It was like the sweetest spring water at the top of the mountain. Very very dangerous spring water.

The secret, of course, is the Lillet Blanc, a fancy French aperitif wine. Which makes sense. Vermouth is also wine. But Lillet Blanc is a hell of lot more expensive than vermouth. Hence the yum factor.

So, in solidarity, I felt I needed to invent a martini myself. And I did. During a cocktail party at my apartment, I stood in my kitchen staring at a counter full of liquor. The gin and vermouth were already in the shaker, but it needed more. It needed some oomph. Some pizazz. Sheer sexiness.


Yet another highly expensive French liqueur. (Legit, considering the recipe is a highly guarded secret amongst the monks who make it in the mountains in south-eastern France. I’m actually serious.)

A dash of Chartreuse, a quick shake, add a lemon peel. And voila. A brand new, totally delicious martini. Well, the tiny little sip I took of it was great. I then had to deliver it to my friend Chris. It was tragic.

Well, not totally tragic. He took one sip, turned to me, and said, “Christina. This is not just a drink. This is an experience.”


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