Master of Malt Vesper

Many years ago (even before Casino Royale was released in 2006), I was consulted on the possibility of making a pre-mixed Vesper. In the end, this came to nothing, so I was interested to see that Master of Malt’s Handmade Cocktail Company had released a bottled Vesper to coincide with the release of the latest Bond film, Skyfall.

This product is essentially all of the ingredients required for a Vesper, at the correct ratios, all in one bottle. Their range also includes similar bottlings for the following cocktails: Gin Martini, Negroni, Old Fashioned, Sazerac, as well as others, all of which are rather good.

The bottle also comes with an open letter to Commander Bond, commenting on his choice of beverage in Skyfall.

The Taste

1) Stirred

Light golden in colour and very smooth to taste. Surprisingly so, given that it’s 43%ABV. It’s also relatively sweet and citrusy. Not crisp enough, I think, but good and strong.

2) Shaken

Much better – cooler and crisper. Strong, but the aeration takes the edge off of the cocktail and provides exactly what you would expect from the cocktail. A very good example of a Vesper and one worthy of 007.

3) Frozen

This works rather well and has the added benefit of convenience: you can just pour it into chilled glasses and drink. Again, it’s very strong, but has a good texture. From the freezer it’s is certainly just one Vesper before dinner.

In Conclusion

Pre-mixed drinks are often hit and miss, but the Handmade Cocktail Company’s Vesper is definitely a hit. My one criticism would be that I preferred the shaken as opposed to the suggested serve (stirred) although serving it straight from the freezer has its own charms. If you want to drink Bond’s signature drink without having to splash out on expensive Lillet (which also has a limited life once open), I would recommend this product.

Read more about James Bond’s drinks here

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