International spies cannot all be gun-toting, girl-charming, mysterious figures. They need to also be able to stomach a strong drink. British Agent 007 (“The name’s Bond… James Bond”!) was a man who knew exactly which brands he wanted, to the point of specifying Perrier as his preferred sparkling water.
Just as fast cars, exotic locations and opulent casinos are synonymous with the world of Ian Fleming’s James Bond, so too are cocktails. Whether it’s the favoured Martini (which features in almost every book) or a refreshing Negroni or Daiquiri, strong, carefully crafted drinks are a consistent feature of the Bond novels.
From the very first Bond novel (Casino Royale) in which Bond christens The Vesper, to the immortal lines – “Shaken, not stirred” (Diamonds Are Forever) – cocktails are at the glamorous heart of every Bond story.
In this authorised James Bond cocktail book, the reader will discover excerpts from Ian Fleming’s writing, with cocktail recipes to match. There are 10 classic drinks from the pages of the novels, plus 40 brand-new ones inspired by the people, places and plots of the original novels.
Heroes & villains
Not all of the concoctions in Shaken are very strong. But what distinguishes this book is the way that these recipes evoke the essence of the heroes and villains of Bond-land. ‘Goldfinger’ is as extravagant as the gold-leaf cocktail named after it; ‘Mr Big’ is as full of black magic; and Caribbean spice as the villain of Live And Let Die.
The recipes were invented by a rock-star trio of mixologists, Edmund Weil (a distant relative of Ian Fleming), Mia Johansson and Bobby Hiddleston, who together run Swift, a suitably louche bar in Soho, London.
The three worked out accurate measures for 10 more classic cocktails mentioned in the series, and invented 40 new drinks with names inspired by the books. There’s the Fugu Poison, based on a good slug of Death’s Door gin and named after the deadly toxin (occurring naturally in puffer fish) – with which Rosa Klebb nearly killed Bond at the end of From Russia With Love.
There’s the Scaramanga, made with Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Martini Bianco, melon liqueur, FernetBranca (Bond’s go-to hangover cure) and a strip of lemon peel – a clear nod to the equally smooth, triple-nippled Man With The Golden Gun.
But the book is more than a list of instructions – it’s full of stunning photographs, quotes from the books, and extracts from Fleming’s writing, taken from the passage where the drink was featured or a place, character, or plot that inspired it. Shaken comes in five sections: straight up, on the rocks, tall, fizzy and exotic.
Shaken: Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming: Hardcover 224 pages: Ian Fleming Publications and Mitchell Beazley: Foreword by Fergus Fleming, Photographs by John Carey. ISBN-10: 1784724645: ISBN-13: 978-1784724641. Available on amazon.com.