To say James Bond likes a drink would be a tremendous understatement. It’d be like saying he takes a modest number of women to bed, or gets the normal amount of use out of a dinner jacket. No, there are no half-measures when it comes to 007’s lifestyle — quite literally. The man sinks more drinks than a competent super-spy has any right to — with a tongue-in-cheek study by the NHS revealing that he even once consumed 49.8 units in just one day.
As we say, he likes a drink. But it’s not your usual binge-drinking bargain basement stuff Bond is quaffing. There’s no cheap cider or red label vodka here. Instead, 007 overindulges in style — mixing drinks, popping corks and sipping cocktails until his words start slurring or the world needs saving. And that means he needs equipment beyond your usual glassware. From shakers to syphons to shot glasses, Bond has assembled quite the bar cabinet over the years. Below is the barware he favours…
A lowball, or rocks glass, is the cornerstone of your cabinet
We don’t tend to associate Bond with whisky these days — but in the books he loved the stuff. Whether Scotch or bourbon, 007 never discriminated, and drank everything from Haig & Haig to Old Grandad. In Goldfinger, sitting in the departure lounge of Miami airport, he drinks from the classic rocks glass in which whisky should be served.
“He signalled to a waitress and ordered another double bourbon on the rocks. When the wide, chunky glass came, he swirled the liquor round for the ice to blunt it down and swallowed half of it.”
It’s a good, dependable glass that has followed Bond into his film franchise. Lowballs abound in Eon’s 24 films — with a notable outing in Casino Royale seeing Daniel Craig neck a glass of Scotch from a Cumbria Crystal Grasmere Double Old Fashioned tumbler. He can also be seen dicing with death alongside a scorpion in Skyfall with a Duralex Picardie tumbler.
Cumbria Crystal Grasmere Tumbler
Duralex Picardie Tumbler
Riedel Bar Rocks Crystal Glass
A highball is the ideal vessel for tall mixed drinks
It may have been lost in cinematic translation — sidelined by the sexier Martini — but the mixed drink ordered most by Bond in the books is a Scotch & Soda. And, although the villainous Marc-Ange Draco supersizes the drink in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service — “he took out a bottle of Pinchbottle Haig, another of I. W. Harper’s Bourbon, two pint glasses that looked like Waterford” — it is a drink usually mixed in a highball glass.
In Live and Let Die, Bond puts “a handful of wilted ice-cubes into a tall glass” before pouring in “three inches of Haig and Haig”. In Thunderball, he mixes a vodka martini on the rocks in a tall glass in his hotel room. And, in Dr No, he creates the enchanting gin and tonic below:
“Bond ordered a double gin and tonic and one whole green lime. When the drink came he cut the lime in half, dropped the two squeezed halves into the long glass, almost filled the glass with ice cubes and then poured in the tonic.”
Waterford Lismore HiBall
Dartington Crystal Limelight Highball
Royal Doulton R&D Highball
Sometimes, vodka can be shotted over shaken or stirred
Strangely, Ian Fleming never mentions a brand of shaker or martini glass in the novels, and no manufacturer has stepped up to monopolise Bond’s glassware on screen. So, aside from one serving suggestion in Diamonds Are Forever — “The waiter brought the Martinis, shaken and not stirred, as Bond had stipulated, and some slivers of lemon peel in a wine glass” — let’s move onto another way of enjoying vodka; shots.
In the films, Bond has enjoyed brands from Smirnoff to Stolichnaya. But it is in Tomorrow Never Dies that Pierce Brosnan’s Bond finally eschews the pomp, circumstance and vermouth of the Martini and starts shotting the spirit from glasses. Part of a silver caviar kit, these six long heavy-based glasses have stable foundations and will keep your vodka ice-cold for longer. Alternatively, in the novel Moonraker, Bond’s vodka-drinking ritual is even more elaborate:
“When M. poured him three fingers from the frosted carafe, Bond took a pinch of black pepper and dropped it on the surface of the vodka. The pepper slowly settled to the bottom of the glass leaving a few grains on the surface which Bond dabbed up with the tip of a finger. Then he tossed the cold liquor well to the back of his throat and put his glass, with the dregs of the pepper at the bottom, back on the table.”
Soho Home Roebling Shot Glasses
Riedel Crystal Glass Carafe
LSA Bar Culture Shot Glasses
Brandy belongs in a balloon glass
And then there’s the brandy. Bond may have enjoyed whisky in a tumbler, rum and gin in highballs and vodka in shot glasses, so why draw the line there? Why not stock his home bar with balloon glasses and add yet another spirit to his spirited collection? In the film version of Goldfinger, Colonel Smithers says to Bond; “Have a little more of this disappointing brandy”.
Bond sniffs, before retorting: “I’d say it was a 30 year old fined and indifferently blended, with an overdose of bon bois.” He proceeds to sip it nonetheless, pouring into a balloon glass from an elegant decanter — a must have for any super-spy, evidently.
Even in the novel Moonraker, Bond empties his cup of coffee before starting on the brandy — reliably sipped from the correct bulbous glassware: “He emptied the cup and picked up the balloon glass with its fat measure of pale brandy. As he sipped it and then drank again, more deeply, he looked over the rim at M.”
Dartington Crystal Limelight Brandy Glasses
Cumbria Crystal Grasmere Decanter
Waterford Cut Lead Crystal Glass
From syphons to shakers, there’s more than just glassware
So you’ve got your balloon glass for brandy, your highballs for cocktails, your tumblers for spirits and your shot glasses if you’re feeling daring. But what else? Bond’s taste for fancy drinks is unquenchable — so he must have used his fair share of accessories.
And so he has. In Moonraker, a barman pours “two measures of Black and White” whisky into a glass before presenting it to Bond “with a syphon of soda”. The syphon, little used these days, would have been a key part of Bond’s bar arsenal — especially given his soft spot for a Scotch & Soda. It’s a good bet that “a plated ice-bucket” would have made an appearance also — Fleming mentions them so often in the novels it’s a small wonder Bond’s not always tripping up over them.
But perhaps the most famous piece of barware? A shaker. Again, as with Martini glasses, no brands are ever mentioned here — although Christie’s did sell the prop shaker used in Spectre a few years back for £17,500. But, given his preferred Martini order, it’s the final, essential flourish in Bond’s barware collection.
Classic Soda Syphon
Alessi Ice Bucket
Sheffield Silver Plated Cocktail Shaker
Want more Bond? Could this have been the super-spy’s fragrance of choice?
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