3-Ingredient Happy Hour: The Classic, Boozy Vesper

Happy weekend, and welcome back to 3-Ingredient Happy Hour. This weekend we're going to be sipping on a classic cocktail that is, at its core, just a glass of clear, cold, alcohol: the Vesper martini.

3-Ingredient Happy Hour: Cherry Orchard Breeze

Happy weekend, and welcome back to 3-Ingredient Happy Hour, the weekly drink column featuring super simple yet delicious libations. This weekend I'm headed to the coast, and updating a classic, kitschy cocktail for the Pacific Northwest.

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If you are familiar with the James Bond canon, you have probably heard of the Vesper. Rather than struggle with the question "vodka or gin?" the Vesper circumvents that whole debate by saying "eff it" and using both fine spirits. (There is, to be fair, a lot more gin.) Besides that dynamic duo, the drink contains a little bianco vermouth, such as Martini or Cinzano, or Lillet.

Like I said, this is just cold booze, but it's that third ingredient that makes the whole thing surprisingly sippable, especially if you're at all used to sipping on martinis. Most recipes call for just 14mL of vermouth or Lillet, but I like to use 22mL, because I think vermouth is extremely delicious.

To make the Vesper, you will need:

  • 88mL gin
  • 30mL vodka
  • 14mL bianco vermouth or Lillet

Pour everything into a pint glass (or stirring glass) filled with ice and stir, stir, stir. Stir more than you think you need to, because the dilution here is very important. (You can shake if you really want to embrace the whole bond thing, but you're going to have an over-agitated beverage.) An under-stirred Vesper is going to have a harsh, ethanolic bite to it and you don't need that noise.

Strain into a coupe glass and drink while wearing your fanciest threads. (If you want to bump up your ingredient count to — gasp — four, you can garnish with a big ol' strip of lemon zest. I won't tell if you don't.)


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