Looking for a new cocktail to try out this weekend? Want to wind down with a fresh new drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should drink this weekend.
I don’t consider myself much of a vodka drinker. I think it’s wise to keep a bottle on one’s bar cart in case a guest might want a Moscow Mule or other quick and easy vodka drink. But, I don’t find myself craving vodka cocktails very often. So, as space was dwindling on my own bar cart, I noticed that I had somehow accumulated several small bottles of vodka. I’m a gin martini guy so vodka martinis were off the table. But, I decided to take a page out of 007’s notebook and start making Vesper cocktails. And now I’ve discovered my new favorite nightcap.
The Vesper is a close relation of the classic martini and was indeed popularized by James Bond. It’s an extremely simple and very boozy drink that has a basic structure but can be played and experimented with. We think it’s a cocktail that everyone should know how to make. So master this recipe and you’ll have a classy cocktail up your sleeve for celebratory evenings.
Gin – Consider opting for an old-school London dry gin for this cocktail. Tanqueray is a great choice, as per usual. I started experimenting with two modern gin makers: St. George’s Botanivore genever-style and Barr Hill Gin. Both offer really lovely botanicals to this drink.
Vodka – On the vodka front, you’ll want to pick a bottle that you enjoy. Ketel One is a great readily available option. I’ve been experimenting with St. George’s Citrus Vodka for a punch of orange flavor in my Vesper.
Lillet blanc – The original Vesper recipe specifically calls for Lillet, a French wine-based aperitif. Some bartenders have also recommended subbing in Cocchi Americano. I didn’t have any on hand so I used Bordiga Extra Dry Vermouth, which is an excellent dry vermouth.
Bitters – Orange bitters aren’t necessary but I found they worked especially well with the St. George’s Citrus Vodka I had been using. As always, go with Angostura.
- Combine 3 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of vodka, 1/2 ounce of Lillet blanc, and two dashes of orange bitters in a mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir until well chilled, about 20 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe.
- Express a lemon peel and garnish.