“Vodka martini—shaken, not stirred.”
The cocktail everyone around the globe should recognize as our favorite super spy’s drink of choice. But there’s more to James Bond than just dry vodka martinis. He is, after all, a well-rounded man with a thirst for liquor and danger. So if you’re not a huge fan of martinis, there’s no need to worry!
Our favorite spy is also fond of other cocktails as well. If you’re a Bond film nut, you might find yourself scratching your head wondering, “In which film did James Bond order a Gin & Tonic or an Old Fashioned?” Well, the answer is . . . none.
In this quick guide to Bond’s lesser-known but favorite boozes, I’ll show you how to drink like a proper MI6 operative (company of beautiful women not guaranteed).
Gin & Tonic
Ian Fleming, Bond’s creator, was quite fond of gin. In print form, Bond was also quite fond of gin, and it’s easy to see why: Ian Fleming drank a bottle of gin and smoked three and a half packs of cigarettes every day—perhaps Bond is a better role model when it comes to moderation! Enjoyed in the novel versions of Dr. No and Goldfinger, the Gin & Tonic is often overlooked in the series yet still remains a classic cocktail (though I use the term lightly, since many consider a cocktail to include at least three ingredients sans garnish).
- 3 oz gin
- 5-6 oz tonic water
- 1 lime wedge
Pour the gin into an ice-filled glass and top with tonic water. Garnish with a lime wedge—or an entire halved lime, if you’re feeling particularly Bond-esque.
Primer's Old Fashioned
While Don Draper has made this drink popular on Mad Men, James Bond drank this tasty beverage long before in Live and Let Die, Diamonds are Forever, and Thunderball. Though basic, the Old-Fashioned remains a staple for any lover of liquor and cocktails. Here is Primer's preferred recipe.
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz simple syrup
- ~2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Orange peel
Add the simple syrup and pour the bourbon into the glass and stir. Fill the glass with your desired amount of ice, and ring the orange peel over the glass to release the oils.
We Bond fans know that the Vesper Martini was made famous in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, but one drink that’s often overlooked from the same book is known to be the first cocktail that James Bond ever ordered, the Americano. Say you’re sitting at an outdoor café in France, trying to blend in while you secretly gaze over your newspaper to keep a watchful eye on your target. The slightly bitter, yet delicious Americano is a good choice for any day spent in the sun.
- 2 oz Campari bitters
- 2 oz sweet vermouth
- Perrier soda water (Bond’s own suggestion to improve this so-called poor drink)
- Slice of lemon-peel
Pour the bitters and vermouth into an ice filled old-fashioned glass and top off with soda water. Stir, and garnish with the lemon-peel.
Though now I’m slightly veering away from the subject of cocktails, it’s imperative to discuss such a staple in James Bond’s arsenal of alcohol. Not only to be enjoyed in cocktails, various types of whiskey make numerous appearances throughout both the novels and films either on the rocks or neat. Just a few various whiskeys that Bond has enjoyed include:
- Old Grand-Dad in Live and Let Die
- Jack Daniel’s in You only Live Twice, and Goldeneye
- The Macallan 10 Year Fine Oak in Skyfall
- The Macallan 1962 Fine and Rare in Skyfall (Could this 50 year old scotch be a nod to the 50th anniversary of our dear Double O Seven? Hmmm.)
Finally, a drink some might have thought to be too pedestrian by many for James Bond: beer. While a lot of fans are in a tiff over Heineken being a featured drink in the just-released Skyfall, you shouldn’t scoff at a man who knows how to dress down. Sometimes, all a man wants after a long day of skirting death or while relaxing in the company of a beautiful woman is a nice, cold brew.
Let us not forget that Bond is no stranger to beer—in Diamonds are Forever, Bond orders a Miller High Life to go with his eggs and sausage. In Ian Fleming’s short story, The Living Daylights as well as in Goldfinger, Bond does what a man of culture does. You’ve heard the expression “when in Rome.” Well in this instance, “When in Germany,” do what Bond does. Skip the martini and order a Löwenbräu.