A few years ago, Grant Macdonald was proud to partner with Aston Martin as their official silversmith. The chance to work with such a design-driven and iconic luxury brand was a great opportunity - and also a good match with our own philosophy of designing for both luxury and legacy.
We created a wide range of Aston Martin silver pieces, some of which gained instant fame for their innovative use of silver and gold combined with high tech, carbon fibre from legendary race engineers Prodrive.
So, on this National Cocktail Day we would like to celebrate one of our greatest creations - the silver Aston Martin cocktail shaker and fine goblets - and also nod to our fine cut glass highball tumblers and shorter whiskey glasses alike - with our own Grant Macdonald version of Bond’s iconic drink, the Vesper martini. We call it the ‘Secret Silversmith’.
2 measures of Gordon’s Gin (this is important, in 1956 this was namechecked by Bond in the book Casino Royale).
1 measure of good quality white rum, we recommend J. Wray & Sons for Caribbean authenticity
1 measure of high-quality vodka, we recommend any good Russian vodka for authenticity.
1 half-measure of Lillet Blanc (the closest to the original Kina Lillet, no longer produced)
I small cube of fresh ginger root (think sugar cube sized)
Now, on first glance, that will finish you off faster than Odd Job’s hat, but wait for it, there is a little magic in this mix. It also explains why Bond preferred his martini shaken not stirred.
- Mix the spirits and the Lillet in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. If you can’t get Lillet, get a spicy vermouth like the excellent Lustau, or perhaps, a Noilly Prat. Avoid anything too strong like Cinzano or Martini.
Shake it well. This is essential, because it goes against convention - which was why Bond asked for it. Shaking a martini was a maverick trait deliberately written into his character by Ian Fleming. Shaking aerates the gin, and generally makes it taste a little more earthy and less like juniper and pine. More importantly, it means more ice dissolves and dilutes the drink so it doesn’t make you keel over for an inconvenient snooze on the Disco Volante.
- Pour it into a chilled glass with crushed ice, a martini or coupe will be fine. Squeeze the Lemon zest over the top, then let it float on top.
This is a Vesper martini but addition of white rum and fresh ginger conjures the sweet and fiery tastes of the Caribbean, which is important considering Dr. No, Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, License To Kill, The Spy Who Loved Me, Casino Royale, The World is Not Enough, Golden Eye, Quantum of Solace, Die Another Day and the forthcoming No Time To Die all are set - partially at least - in the Caribbean.
As a result, we think Mr. Bond will have a taste for rum. Shaken, not stirred, of course.