Sean Connery on location in Amsterdam shooting Diamonds Are Forever (Dutch National Archives/License: CC BY-SA 3.0 NL)
In 1953, former World War II British naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming published his first novel centered on charismatic espionage agent James Bond. Under the employ of MI6, England’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent 007 was literally given a license to, well, do whatever it took to reign in sinister forces posing a challenge to Her Majesty’s government and the planet at large.
Bond favored gadgetry, martinis (shaken, not stirred), and short-term flings with beautiful female associates and adversaries. The dashing agent’s 1950s literary adventures included Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger, and From Russia, with Love. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood recruited Bond, James Bond.
Bond received his first screen assignment Dr. No in 1962—the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis—and a relatively obscure Scottish actor named Sean Connery soared to international stardom. Even SPECTRE could not stop the 007 franchise (before the term entered the movie industry lexicon) from encircling the globe, despite Agent “Double-0 Seven” morphing into George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.
Join film historian Max Alvarez for a multimedia presentation—unredacted and for your eyes only!—where the mission is to crack the code behind the high-tech glamour and globetrotting excitement of the 007 film cycle. Alvarez shares selections from popular Bond adventures as well as archival and behind-the-scenes production material, including visual breakdowns of legendary 007 stunts and astonishing production design achievements. The occasion calls for a toast with a very British, Bond-inspired martini (recipe below).
James Bond's Vesper Martini with Recipe
Cocktail historian Philip Greene, author of The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail, recreates the drink that Bond instructs a bartender to make in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. The cocktail is named for the fictional double agent Vesper Lynd, and though Bond originally called for Gordon’s Gin, Greene favors Tanqueray, since “Gordon’s nowadays is not what it used to be and Tanqueray is about what Gordon’s was in 1953.” Libations change. Bond and his Martini are eternal.
2 1/4 oz Tanqueray
3/4 oz Absolut Vodka
1/3 oz Lillet Blanc
Shake well with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
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