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James Bond’s Vesper Martini

This recipe comes to us from Benjamin Steak House.

In Ian Fleming’s original James Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953), he created a drink named after the novel’s female lead, Vesper Lynd. Many people don’t know this, but this was Bond’s original martini; later, he began to order straight up vodka or gin martinis. The Vesper differs in that it uses both. Below is the recipe, taken straight out of the legendary novel.


Vesper Martini


  • 3 measures of Gordon's Gin
  • 1 measure of vodka
  • 1/2 measure Lillet Blanc (originally Kina Lillet in the novel)
  • lemon peel for garnish

    - Shake gin, vodka and Lillet with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

Editor's Note: About our guest blogger Benjamin Prelvukaj

Benjamin Prelvukaj is the ambitious young entrepreneur who founded Benjamin Steak House. Benjamin, along with fellow Peter Luger alumni, Chef Arturo McLeod, started Benjamin Steak House in 2006. In two short years, Benjamin Steak House has established itself as one of New York’s premiere steak houses, attracting business professionals and celebrities alike.

At the humble age of 18, he moved to New York in pursuit of a better life for him and his family. After working at various New York restaurants, he began working full-time as a waiter at the famous Peter Luger steakhouse in Brooklyn while also attending school. Juggling school and a full-time job was no easy task, but Benjamin was determined to succeed.

While working at Peter Luger, Benjamin paid close attention to what made the restaurant so successful. He also took note of the areas he thought needed improvement. These assessments were the building blocks to the development of
Benjamin Steak House. After assembling a group of investors, Benjamin began to search for a location for his dream restaurant. When he stumbled upon the Dylan Hotel, Benjamin knew he had found the right place. The elegant setting of the two-story space, located in the century-old Chemist Club building near Grand Central was exactly what he has envisioned. With its brass chandeliers, soaring ceilings, and 10-foot fireplace, the location felt like a Sinatra-esque throwback to the Big Band Era.

Many restaurants had failed in this location before- including the Chemist Club Grill and Britney Spears’ NYLA- but that did not deter Benjamin. The first 6 months after the opening, business was slow, but Mr. Prelvukaj refused to lose hope. He continued to refine his menu, hire the finest wait and kitchen staff, and promote Benjamin Steak House around the city. In time, his hard work paid off. Today it is rare to find an empty seat in Benjamin’s, even on weekdays, and celebrity clientele include world champion boxers Evander Holyfield and Wladimir Klitschko, movie stars Vin Diesel, Hillary Duff, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Meloni, and Reba McIntyre, and super models Naomi Campbell and Jessica Hart, among others. Benjamin Prelvukaj’s success story is truly inspirational, and a testament to the fact that, no matter where you come from, if you have the ambition and persistence, you too can live the American dream.


“James Bond’s Vesper Martini”