French Cocktails: Introducing the Vesper
I enjoy concocting a good cocktail. Whether it is a go to classic or a pleasing combination of seasonal flavors shaken...or stirred, I love the process. This past summer I have been introduced to so many new flavors for my arsenal, which are really old classics that run the gamut from bitter to sweet. The Italian and French liquors and aperitifs are making a great a comeback and for good reason- they can be mixed to either act as a digestif or stimulate the appetite- both great reasons to enjoy them in the evening.
The most recent I came across, the Vesper, was from a book, Drinking French, released this year from the well-regarded cook and baker, David Lebovitz. The book is a lovely ode to the French way of enjoying their food and beverage; a must add to your bar.
The Vesper was brought to the attention of Americans in 1967 when James Bond ordered one in Casino Royale. I thank him because this exquisite cocktail blends both gin and vodka along with one of my new favorite aperitifs, Lillet (pronounced lee-lay). There is an extensive history of this aromatised wine in the pages of the book which I found really interesting since I know little about the origins of so many of my new drinking pleasures.
If it proves to be too strong, I recommend stirring until ice cold and enjoying it on the rocks...Lucy On-the-Rocks will hold this drink just fine.
- Chill your drinking glass with ice and top with water to chill while you make your drink.
- Combine gin, vodka and Lillet to a cocktail mixing glass and fill two-thirds with ice
- Stir for 50 revolutions (it makes a difference).
- Dump the ice and water from your cocktail glass, add new ice and strain your drink into it. Twist your lemon rind enough to release the natural oils.