The Washington Post

James Bond’s drink is often imitated


This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Sean Connery, left, as James Bond in a scene from the 1963 film, "From Russia With Love." (AP/AP)

One of the more hilarious bar scenes I encounter in my travels is when someone orders a vodka martini, “shaken not stirred,” spoken in a barely passable Sean Connery accent (more “Saturday Night Live” than “Goldfinger”). Never are they wearing a tuxedo but, instead, always flip-flops and a baseball cap.

Fail.

James Bond doesn’t drink vodka martinis, or dirty martinis for that matter. According to the novels, and the new franchise, he drinks Vespers — a drink that even James Bond creator Ian Fleming later admitted was “unpalatable.”

But what distinguishes Bond’s signature drink above all else is style. It’s iconoclastic, like Bond himself. Bond is his own man and makes that clear with his life and his drink — a lesson I wish that the “shaken not stirred” set would learn.

Recently someone asked me what drink Bond would order today. I thought for a second and replied, it’s really quite simple: “Something he likes.”

Derek Brown is a writer and mixologist whose creations can be sampled at such bars as Columbia Room and the Passenger.

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