"Shaken, not stirred"
clock_iconJune 26, 2020 clock_icon3 min read

In most films, James Bond, an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service and a former Royal Naval Reserve Commander, drinks a cocktail “Vodka-Martini – “Shaken, not stirred“, which differs from the classic “Martini” as vodka is used instead of gin.

But the most famous James Bond drink is the “ Vesper “ cocktail, named after his girlfriend. For the first time, this cocktail was born in 1953 in the novel by Jan Fleming “Casino Royale”.

The recipe for Bond’s “Vesper” martini, as described in the book: ‘Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?’

So the Vesper cocktail is 3 ounces gin, 1-ounce vodka and 1/2 ounce dry vermouth (Lillet)

“Kina Lillet” is no longer available, so modern counterparts are the French aperitifs Lillet Blanc or the Italian Cocchi Americano.

So how much did Bond drink as a result? And can he be counted among alcoholics? To answer, you need to clarify what is a standard “drink”?

In the United States, a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in

  • 12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content).
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content).
  • 5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content).
  • 1.5-ounces of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).

So it turns out that one Bond cocktail makes four-plus standard drinks at once. Is it a lot or a little?

By official standards, Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.

Pregnant women and young people – this is not about Bond. But with the norms of consumption, everything looks as follows.

Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive drinking, is defined as consuming:

  • For women, 4 or more drinks during a single occasion.
  • For men, 5 or more drinks during a single occasion.

Heavy drinking is defined as consuming

  • For women, 8 or more drinks per week.
  • For men, 15 or more drinks per week.

James Bond with his cocktail of four standard drinks looks quite a respectable citizen and certainly not an alcoholic, unless, of course, he asks the bartender for another one. However, due to Mr. Bond’s self- control and the highest degree of his responsibility to MI-6, one cannot imagine that he will give slack and reach for the second glass. But this is Bond. And this is just a movie. In life, unfortunately, everything is different.

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