After all that tea last weekend celebrating Lenny’s birthday – I really needed to sit quietly and have a drink ... not just any drink – but a Bond drink ... decisions, decisions ... cocktails galore ...
|British Cinema poster for Skyfall|
Skyfall, the latest Bond movie, premiered yesterday at the Royal Albert Hall, and will open to the public on Friday – our film society has already said we’ll be ousted from our usual screen and relegated in the ranks as Bond will take precedence!
Ian Fleming certainly knew what he was doing when he included those magic words into his books ... first in the novel Diamonds are Forever (1956) – though Bond doesn’t actually say the line until Dr No (1958) ... when Fleming plagiarises his own phrase to shaken and not stirred ...
... it is Sean Connery’s Bond in Goldfinger (1964) who first utters the much loved movie quote – yet Dr Julius No offers 007 a Martini and uses those words in the 1962 film Dr No.
Bond first ordered a drink to be shaken in Fleming’s novel Casino Royale (1953) when he requested a drink of his own invention, which would later be referred to as a “Vesper” ... a dry martini:
- in a deep champagne goblet
- three measures of Gordon’s
- one of vodka – Russian or Polish preferably ..
- half a measure of Kina Lillet
- shake it very well until it is ice-cold
- then add a large thin slice of lemon peel ..
A “Vesper” differs from Bond’s usual cocktail of choice, the gin Martini ... with vermouth and an olive ...
- Black Velvet from Diamonds are Forever – Guinness and champagne
- the Stinger from Diamonds are Forever – Brandy and crème de menthe
- Mint Julep in Goldfinger – mint leaf (preferably spearmint), bourbon, sugar and water
- Rum Collins during Thunderball – light rum, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water ...
The myth continues with many cocktails being created ... mixologists have devised Bond-themed cocktails drawing their inspiration from 007’s greatest escapades.
The Skyfall cocktail is made of Heineken beer (a product placement too far?), Tanqueray No 10 gin, white grapefruit, elderflower cordial, honey and topped with elderflower foam.
While looking up the cocktails for 007 ... it was interesting to note that “Vesper” uses the aperitif Kina Lillet ... that rang a very recent bell so I scouted around and found a newspaper cutting I’d pulled out ...
The idea of the aperitif, an alcoholic beverage, is to stimulate the appetite ... from the Latin aperire: to receive the flavours of the food you are about to eat. The dry bitter flavours are the best for that – hence campari, vermouth, champagne, fino sherries or the revived Kina-Lillet.
|An early advertising|
Quinquina, a collective name for bitters (aperitif) have quinine as one of their main ingredients ... while quinquina is also known as Peruvian Bark originating from South America via the Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. Most widely known quinquinas include Lillet Blanc, Dubonnet is another of these quinine-containing wine formula drinks.
Lillet has, with great timing, launched its first new product for 60 years: Lillet Rose. Lillet Blanc or Rouge were popular in France and its colonies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries ... based on grapes, spirit and quinquina.
|Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day about to |
drink a Stinger
I think most of us will see this Bond movie somewhere along the line ... it’s a good guess we’ve all seen many of them – I usually catch up on tv ... it appears this new Bond has blended classic Bond elements with a contemporary plot, the return of the legendary Aston Martin DB5 ...
... fifty years after Bond’s screen debut, it makes for a fitting celebration of cinema’s favourite spy ... perhaps with another 50 years ahead for the spy to keep seeking out global villains with more scripts being written ...
|Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee|
packed for retail
Fleming had a preference for gin – however he was converted to bourbon at the behest of his doctor who informed him of his failing health ... Bond’s drinking habits tended to mirror those of his creator.
However I think we can expect Bond to favour a few non alcoholic beverages in the future ... he enjoys Yin Hao, the highest traditional grade of jasmine tea, and has expressed a fondness for Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.
The Bond brand seems to be strengthened by this latest 23rd film in the series ... but we could be seeing many more ‘Shaken, not stirred’ drinks ... perhaps Aperitifs will come back into favour ... using other barks and spices ...
I think that drink is now due ... but I’ll be having one that was refined and spread by the Normans ... apple cider. After their conquest of England ... new varieties of apples were introduced and cider began to figure in the tax records – still does (sadly!) ... here’s to your evening ahead ... cheers!!
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