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Martini and Myth

On Alcohol Professor, I have a four-parter called Martini and Myth about James Bond, the murky origin of the Martini, and how Ian Fleming ended up making them with vodka and ordering them shaken, not stirred. Everyone from tippling detective Nick Charles to Savoy Hotel bartender Harry Craddock to the fictional President from The West Wing seems to have something to say about the matter.

Read them all: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4

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Gimlets with Fleming and Marlowe

The gimlet is one of the great, unsung heroes of the cocktail world. Simple, refreshing, easy to make — and favored by everyone from British sailors to private eye Philip Marlowe, It was during the great mid-century cocktail revival that young Ian Fleming came into his own as the gadabout and Bond vivant we know him…

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Alexander the Great

The first drink James Bond has in Risico, while meeting with his contact Kristatos, is a Negroni. Risico prominently features one more cocktail, if in a somewhat dismissive fashion. Kristatos identifies himself to Bond at the Hotel Excelsior’s bar with a signal: an Alexander, which amuses 007. “Bond had been told to look for a…

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The Least Offensive of the Musical Comedy Drinks

Even when he’s in Italy — having an Americano at Florian’s in Venice (which is still in operation, in the Piazza San Marco; it opened in 1720 and claims to be Italy’s oldest cafe) while wasting time in the short story Risico — Bond can’t escape tying the drink to France, as his quiet afternoon’s contemplation by “a couple of French culture-snobs discussing the imbalance of the containing facade of St. Mark’s Square.” It is a shame that the simple, innocent Americano gets swept up in 007’s Parisian wrath. It’s not even a French invention (nor an American one).