James Bond drinks: The Negroni

The drinks of this article come from one of the shorter 007 stories and one of the few books whose title has not been made into an EoN film (as such, there was speculation that this would be the name of Bond23 before Skyfall was announced). The book in question is Risico

Within the first two pages of the book, two cocktails are mentioned:

1) Alexandra

[30ml Stolichnaya Gold, 20ml White Creme de Cacao, 20ml Double Cream]

Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake, and strain into a Martini glass.

Bond’s ordering of this drink was a secret signal for his contact at a Excelsior Bar to recognise him by. 007 notes that this rather feminine drink was both a smart signal and more original than a folded newspaper or decorative buttonhole.

The Alexandra is a variation on the Gin Alexander (another variation being the Brandy Alexander), which originates from a PR campaign by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. This campaign saw the creation of mascot Phoebe Snow, a lady dressed in white to show how little soot the trains’ fuel created. A drink of purity, the (gin) Alexnader was invented by Troy Alexander in New York.

The vodka creates a very pure cocktail (fitting, given its origin), but, to keep it the crisp white in colour, you will need to use white rather than brown Creme de Cacao.

This cocktail is smooth and quite sweet, somewhat akin to a cream liqueur, and an unusual choice for a serious drinker, but at least it’s distinctive. The vodka allows more of the chocolate notes to come through: white Cacao tends to add a hint of white chocolate, whereas the brown version has deeper cocoa notes. A dessert cocktail if there ever was one.

2) Negroni

[Equal measures of Gordon’s Export Gin (47.3%), Red Vermouth & Campari]

Add to a tumbler with ice and stir.

Once Bond has made contact with Kristatos, he orders a very different drink to his colleague: a Negroni. This mix of gin, vermouth and Campari makes for a rather bracing and refreshing drink, perfect for a hit afternoon.

For the gin in his cocktail, Bond specifies Gordon’s (an integral ingredient of The Vesper) and, naturally, being in Italy, this would be the stronger export version.

The drinks starts of with a juicy juniper flavour and some citrus it then moves to a sweeter herbal complexity from the red vermouth and the bitter Campari on the finish. It is a drink that is both warming and refreshing at the same time. The citrus peel garnish orange or pink grapefruit add a fresh zesty streak. A great drink and nearly the ultimate refreshment. (The James Bond G&T just beats it).

David T Smith runs the blog Summer Fruit Cup, looking at all things related to drink and drinking. Topics covered include tasting and reviews, cocktail history and vintage bar-ware.

You can learn more about what James Bond drinks here

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