The following BoozinBlog post is brought to you by… Exclusiv Vodka. We try to stay impartial here at BoozinBlog because we do enjoy all alcohols equally, but when someone sends us a bottle, we might talk about it. And when we LIKE that bottle? We’re definitely gonna give you beautiful folks a heads-up (You are beautiful, right? We can’t totally tell. We’ve been drinking vodka.)
Though the name might imply red velvet ropes and disapproving looks from wealthy people, Exclusiv, from Moldova, is actually well within my price range (which means it’s definitely within yours) at just over ten bucks for a fifth.
Here’s what I know: It was smooth and tasty, even enjoyed straight. I could take a stab at picking apart the flavor minutia, but I wouldn’t be half as skilled as our friends at WineAnthology.com:
“Clear. Faint aromas of anise, dried citrus, and pastry with a soft, silky light-to-medium body and smooth milk, pepper, and herbal honeycomb notes on the long finish. Excellent smoothness and liveliness.”
Since I stopped making jokes about the word “anise” at least three months ago, I’ll conclude instead with a note on their personality. I dig it. Check out their facebook pageÂ andÂ website. They’ve got drink recipes, fan pictures, and even a recipe for bacon-infused vodka, which is clearly the reason I’m okay promoting them. Here’s a picture!
As I always say, if you’re gonna sell out to something, make sure it’s tasty and a promoter of bacon. Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
There’s no such thing as too much Bond (perhaps unless you’re Q*), so I wanted to take you guys down a wiki-tangent I explored while “researching” the last post.
With all this blind rage about 007′s drink of choice, I was moved to investigate something groundbreakingly unorthodox, something few others in the journalism world dared delve into: what did 007 actually drink?
I touched on it a bit in the last article. The martinis were there, yes, but he’s also had his share of bourbon and champagne, among other things. But let’s go all the way to the way back, the classic, the OG Bond drink.
It’s called a Vesper. Not a martini, not a vodka martini, but a Vesper. And it was invented by Ian Fleming- also the inventor of James Bond- for his first Bond novel, Casino Royale
‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deepÂ champagne goblet.’
‘Just a moment. Three measures ofÂ Gordon’s, one ofÂ vodka, half a measure ofÂ Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice ofÂ lemon peel. Got it?’
‘Certainly monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
‘Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,’ said Leiter.
Bond laughed. ‘When I’m…er…concentrating,’ he explained, ‘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. 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 think of a good name.’
â€”Â Casino Royale, Chapter 7: Rouge et Noir
First of all, what a confident alcoholic. He basically said, “When I’m… supposed to be getting sh*t done, I fool my brain by making one big-ass, strong drink. It thinks I’m drinking in moderation, but I still get to feed my liver it’s daily allocation of poison.”
Secondly,Â that was the first Bond drink!Â Some sort of Vodka-Gin bastard swill. He calls it a martini, sure, (he later dubs it a Vesper, after Casino Royale Bond girl, Vesper Lynd),Â but that’s notÂ a martini!Â It’s something 007 made up himself. And while I love the “shaken, not stirred” tagline, I would also find it fan-fricking-tastic if he just went around to bars making sh*t up:
“I’ll need… seven parts bourbon, two parts Grape Four Loko- you have the Grape flavor, right? Good, good. And then three and a half parts- roll with this- Marshmallow Fluff. Stir that, microwave it, stir again, and put in a highball. BoomÂ Shakalaka.”
But let’s refocus. The creator of the suavest dude in fiction also created a bomb-sounding drink. Go grab some Gordon’s, some vodka (might I suggest…Â Exclusiv?), some Lillet (the aperitif wine has dropped “Kina” and goes simply by Lillet or Lillet Blanc), step into your mixology lab, and give it a try!
One more thing: though I think it’s certainly worth trying the drink exactly as Bond did,Â Esquire’sÂ David Wondrich gives a couple tips and variations on the drinkÂ here, adding some perspective and alleging that 007 might not knowÂ everythingÂ about inventing a cocktail.
*SERIOUSLY go watch a Bond movie if you didn’t get that joke.
WineAnthology.com’sÂ overview of Exclusiv:Â http://www.wineanthology.com/p-3649-exclusiv-vodka.aspx
Here’s the Wikipedia page for the phrase, “Shaken, not stirred” (Yes, the phraseÂ has its own Wikipedia page):Â http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaken,_not_stirred
Esquire.com’sÂ ”The Wondrich Take: Vesper” by David Wondrich:Â http://www.esquire.com/drinks/vesper-drink-recipeÂ