Believe it or not Ian Fleming is cited as the creator of this famous James Bond cocktail. Living the adventurous life of James Bond is every old man’s fantasy and Bond is famous for his drinks and his women. He had a cocktail perfect for every situation and the Vesper was inspired by the beautiful Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale. Please don’t shake this drink, I know Bond asks for it this way but it really is better stirred. Eventually character Vesper Lynd reveals herself to be an evil double agent and, overcome by her guilt and love for Bond’s big, suave, and throbbing… heart, kills herself. Stricken with sadness Bond never orders another Vesper again and instead replaces it with the Vodka Martini, and a bunch of other cocktails throughout the rest of the series. Bond is basically the male version of a bodice ripper for men. I won’t lie, I wouldn’t mind living his life. Over sexed, drunk, and a license to kill? Sign me up.
So I mention using Cocchi Americano instead of Lillet Blanc because Cocchi Americano taste is closer to what Lillet Blanc tasted like in the 50s. Even though Lillet Blanc is the original ingredient, the product was updated in 1985 to be sweeter and have the quinine removed. Cocchi Americano is drier and still has the quinine bitterness of the old Lillet Blanc.