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Friday, 28 September 2012

The name's Bond ... aye, bail bond.

AS the new Bond movie looms large, it seems you can’t turn your head without encountering some mention of the great man. So, pre-release of Skyfall, I may as well get my hand in. Or chips. 
     All nicely referenced, of course, in Casino Royale, the first of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels as well as Daniel Craig’s first go at taking on the movie role. Casino Royale is, for my purposes, pretty good, too, on cocktails. As a French beauty in the Hermitage Bar was heard to say to her tweedy companion, “Moi, j’adore le Dry … fait avec du Gordon’s, bien entendu.” 
     Of course? Well, possibly mademoiselle had yet to come across le Bombay Sapphire, but we’ll let it pass. Later, while having a refreshment with a CIA spook, Bond instructs the barman to concoct “three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet (a French dry, white vermouth). Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold then add a large, thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?” 
     Not so much a refreshment as a knockout punch, and the first mention of Bond requiring his Martinis “shaken, not stirred”.

     As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I prefer the simple classic of gin (mostly), a passing acquaintance with Noilly Prat, well shaken with several ice cubes and poured into a Martini glass with three pimento-stuffed olives on a stick. (See above). Not too much to ask, is it? After a hard day down the vermouth mines. 
     Neither of the two movie versions of Casino Royale had Sean Connery in them. In fact, the novel refers to the man Fleming would have liked to be the star when Bond is described as looking like Hoagy Carmichael. Very fetching he is, too.

     Recently, in the interests of research, we were forced to attend an exhibition at the Barbican celebrating 50 years of Bond style. Thankfully, at the end they had wisely set up a special 007 Martini Bar where a person might catch his breath. 
     Included on the bill of fare was a Vesper Cocktail, with a nod to Vesper Lynd, the beautiful double agent in Casino Royale. Ingredients: gin, lillet blanc and vermouth with a dash of ground black pepper added. The latter component sounds quite sexy and, if I ever finish this, I’m going to make myself one. It is Friday, after all.

     Certainly, Miss Moneypenny and her young spies in my photograph above, enjoyed the aperitifs they chose at the 007 bar. Meanwhile, if Mr Bond were musical, this is what he might have sounded like ... and the waiter might do a neat job in serving cocktails, too!