A gentleman’s guide to the perfect martini

To shake, stir or leave alone?

Although his sartorial swagger and fondness for luxe supercars are to be applauded, it’s often James Bond’s preference for a Vesper martini that epitomises his taste in all things good. And, if you want to emulate the superspy’s poison of choice, but are frequently flustered by which spirits to choose and what ratios to utilise, then don’t fret, for we, with the help of Dukes Bar in London (the place where Mr Ian Fleming actually enjoyed sipping on a martini or two) have the definitive guide on how to concoct this glorious tipple.


• Dash of Angostura bitters
• Amber vermouth
• Potocki Vodka
• Orange
• One martini glass

A gentleman’s guide to the perfect martini

Sacred English amber vermouth


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A gentleman’s guide to the perfect martini

Cocktail glasses by LSA international


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How to prepare a martini

Begin by freezing the gin, vodka and glass. Once frozen, add three dashes of the Angostura bitters into the glass and swirl around the bottom, before adding one part vermouth. Then, in honour of the supposed real-life inspiration for Vesper Lynd, Polish-born wartime spy Christine Granville, Dukes uses one part Potocki, a Polish vodka. This particular tipple is made with 100 per cent rye, so will add a hint of cream and vanilla to the overall flavour profile. Next, top with gin. Dukes prefers the No.3 as this comes from a wine merchant in St James’s – an area which Fleming frequented during his years in London.

How to serve a martini

Because the products have been frozen, there’s no need to shake or stir – rather, it’s just a matter of layering each element on top of each other and letting them sit. Finally, take a washed orange and drag a channelling knife firmly around it to create a thin spiral zest. Fold this lengthways in your hands and squeeze the oils over the top of the glass, twist it, then drop into the martini. Although Fleming used a lemon in his original recipe, Dukes prefers the sweeter aroma of the orange, as this will lure the drinker into thinking that the martini will be sweet and light; in reality, it’s as lethal as 007 himself.

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Further Reading