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The Cocktail College Podcast: The Vesper, Revisited

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In the wake of the post-pandemic rush back to bars, we’ve witnessed a return to the classics, especially the Martini. But with this reprise also came riffs aplenty, so much so that some drinks labeled as “Martinis” couldn’t be further from the original — many are only recognizable thanks to that quintessential serving glass. But one subcategory of the Martini family seems to have dodged an out-of-pocket makeover: the Vesper.

Unlike many classic cocktails, the Vesper has clear origins: James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” In one chapter, Mr. Bond calls the “bar man” over and orders a specific Martini riff with a split base of gin and vodka. Though he refrains from naming it, the cocktail was christened “the Vesper” as a nod to the Bond character Vesper Lynd, who turns out to be a double agent working undercover as a Soviet spy. 

The word “vesper” literally translates to “evening star” in Latin — a delicate title for such a big and boozy cocktail. On that front, there are no bold syrups, spices, or smoke in this drink, just a blend of clean, austere ingredients that need to be mixed just right, whether shaken or stirred. 

Today, we’re digging deep into the “Cocktail College” vaults as we resurface our conversation on the Vesper. Little did we know when we first recorded this episode that the Vesper would end up going on a quiet tear in recent times. Bartenders just can’t resist building on the Martini trend, lending their interpretations of this riff to their menus. Joining us for that chat was Patrick Smith, who’s now senior beverage manager of Union Square Hospitality Group. Tune in for more. 

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Patrick Smith’s Vesper Recipe


2 ounces London Dry gin
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce of Tempus Fugit Kina L’Aéro d’Or
Garnish: manicured lemon twist 


Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
Stir until cold and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with an expressed, manicured lemon twist.

The article The Cocktail College Podcast: The Vesper, Revisited appeared first on VinePair.

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