James Bond Prefers Champagne, and 4 More Surprising Facts


James Bond, portrayed here by Daniel Craig, likes spirits from martinis to champagne. (Photo: Everett)

He’d like it shaken, not stirred. But James Bond will also drink it on the rocks, in a flute glass, and out of the bottle.

On Friday one of cinema’s most famous imbibers is back at it for the 24th James Bond film, “Spectre,” which is already breaking box-office sales records in Europe.

If you want to truly drink like James Bond, here’s what you need to know about 007’s spirited history.

1. He invented the Vesper Martini.

While he’s most often associated with drinking a vodka martini, he invented the Vesper Martini in the 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” It’s made with three parts Gordon’s gin, one part vodka, and a half part Kina Lillet, shaken, and served with a lemon peel garnish.

“I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made,” Bond says in the novel. “I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.“

By the next chapter, he names it the Vesper, after the character Vesper Lind. He never orders the drink again in the novels — he moved on to vodka martinis.

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Sean Connery as Bond, enjoying what looks like a brandy; Photo: Everett

2. Many bartenders disagree with his ordering style.

It might be the most famous way to order a martini, but it is a contentious one.

“I never shake,” said Cody Goldstein, who runs Muddling Memories, a cocktail consulting company, and the head bartender at the Upholstery Store, a restaurant in New York City. “As a purist I want to taste the subtleties in the vodka, and when you shake it, you break up the ice in the drink which dilutes the vodka.”

Shaking also makes the drink cloudy with tiny air bubbles and those floating bits of ice. “You want a martini to be as clean and clear as possible,” he said.

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A limited-edition 007 Champagne from Bollinger.

3. He actually drinks more champagne than martinis.

In early Bond novels, he drinks three brands of champagne: Taittinger, Dom Perignon and Bollinger, but since 1973’s “Live and Let Die,” only Bollinger has been shown in the films, says Jérôme Philipon, Bollinger’s CEO. Bollinger doesn’t pay for the product placement, which Philipon says is one of the longest partnerships in cinema.

“In ‘Spectre’ champagne appears in three occasions, and vodka martinis are mentioned only once,” Philipon says.

An infographic made by Bond fans and posted on Reddit seems to bear out Bond’s proclivity for variety. While vodka martinis do have a presence, there’s lots of champagne, red wine, and even a mojito (in 2002’s “Die Another Day”) and a glass of sherry have appeared in the movies over the years.

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4. He’s been a beer guy for a while.

While the 2012 Heineken product placement deal for “Skyfall,” rumored to be worth $45 million, created buzz that it was sacrilege for him to eschew cocktails for beer, Bond has actually been a brew guy for a while. The brand has worked with the films since 1997’s “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and as early as 1962’s “Dr. No,” Bond was seen sipping on a Red Stripe lager.


Timothy Dalton as James Bond. He looks like he’s sipping on a gin and tonic; Photo: Everett

5. Doctors say the books version of Bond drank the equivalent of 45 drinks a week.

A 2013 study found that Ian Flemming’s Bond in the early books drank between six and seven drinks a day. It makes those high-speed chases and fights all the more harrowing, but as a fictional character, Bond gets away with it.