If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make the Vesper, like they do at Duke’s in London, here’s your chance.
Firstly, here is the history as told to me by Allesandro of Dukes, the great man himself. Ian Fleming used to frequent Duke’s bar and wrote at least one of the James Bond novels there and it is said he invented the Vesper. If you read the recipe in Casino Royale(1953), it says:
“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?”
Duke’s recipe below is slightly different as Kina Lillet is no longer available. ” Kina Lillet was reformulated in 1986 and rebranded as Lillet Blanc, a “fresher, fruitier, and less bitter” concoction. Cocchi Americano is generally considered to be the nearest contemporary drink to the original recipe Kina Lillet and is often used as a substitute for it in cocktails.”
I fond that Lillet Blanc works very well. Just so you know, Duke’s uses its own vermouth made exclusively for them by an English company. Sorry, none to be had, I tried.
The Duke’s Vesper
1- large Martini glass
2 dashs of Angostura Bitters
1/2 measure Lillet Blanc
2 measures of Potocki Vodka
2 Meaures of No 3 London Dry Gin by Berry Bros. and Rudd
Garnished with an orange peel
Take your ice cold/frozen glass and add your bitters, then pour in your Lillet Blanc, add your vodka and top with gin. Take your orange peel and squeeze over the top of the glass it to disperse the oil and serve. No stirring or shaking.