Vesper Martini Recipe
Vesper Martini Recipe

Vesper Cocktail Recipe

The Vesper features in Ian Fleming’s novel, Casino Royale, agent 007 instructs a bartender to mix “three measures Gordon’s, one of vodka, a half measure of Kina Lillet.
Below you'll find an adapted version as I think almost 5oz is a pretty hefty drink!
Kina Lillet is a quinquina, a type of bitter aperitif made with cinchona bark. It was a key component in the original recipe but was discontinued in the late 1960s.
The best substitute for the Kina Lillet is Cocchi Americano, an Italian aperitif made with a base of Moscato wine macerated with herbs, spices, gentian root and cinchona bark. It has a herbal complexity with a soft sweetness and a bitter bite. Using Cocchi Americano in a Vesper creates a cocktail that is dry, bright and citrusy, with a very subtle bitter note.
If you don’t have Cocchi but do have a bottle of Lillet Blanc then simply add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters - it won’t look like the most pristine Vesper but it will improve it’s flavour profile compared to that of Lillet on it’s own.
3.30 from 218 votes



  • Combine all ingredients into your mixing glass
  • Stir for 45-60 seconds
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    April 24, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    Agree that Cocchi Americano is the best sub for Kina Lillet but your recipe says to stir the drink and Bond orders it shaken until ice cold. “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

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