For the summer season, a Vesper cocktail—kin to the classic martini—provides enough potent refreshment to keep the dog days away. Born of the imagination that brought James Bond into the world, the Vesper pairs vodka with gin. Both blend well while embracing the light wine aperitivo. Although the gin plays the dominant hand, the other alcohols and the lemon peel carry the experience forward and ultimately define the drink. Crisp to the tongue, with lingering citrus notes, it's not just for martini drinkers. An easy-to-make Vesper can refresh any cocktail enthusiast's summer.
Ian Fleming's Vesper had a specific gin in mind, as well as the apertiff wine Kina Lillet. We at Cool Hunting have our own preferred recipe; invoking our taste for Plymouth gin, Purity vodka and the craft-cocktail darling Cocchi Americano. More than historically important, Plymouth gin partners best with other alcohols. It's even named in Savoy's cocktail guide, specifically, 23 times. We notice a difference. Purity, Grand Vodka Master 2012 winner, undergoes 34 distillations and the resulting smoothness eases the alcohol into the larger gin portion. Kina Lillet underwent a rebrand in 1986—its replacement, Lillet Blanc, is fruitier. Cocchi Americano carries more of Kina's brisk bitterness and definition. Create your own Vesper at home with the following ingredients and four simple steps:
The Cool Hunting Vesper
Three measures Plymouth gin
One measure Purity vodka
A splash of Cocchi Americano
A sizeable twist of lemon
Combine all ingredients, shake with cracked ice, strain and garnish with the twist of lemon.
Thank you to Windows Phone for sponsoring In the Gloaming on Cool Hunting. All images for this series, unless otherwise noted, have been shot using the PureView camera on Nokia's Lumia 928 and are presented without any retouching.