Anyone who’s ever wanted to go drinking with James Bond would, most likely, end up the way that most of his arch-foes go. Dead.
Mr Bond does have a fondness for a drink, as, over the course of the 14 books written by Ian Fleming, 007 does enjoy a cocktail or three.
Shaken – Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming is the 007 official cocktail book – created in association with the Ian Fleming Estate
It’s not just a series of 50 top class cocktail recipes (developed by award-winning bar Swift), but it’s also a chance to explore Bond creator Ian Fleming’s writings on the pleasures of drinking.
Fleming was a noted journalist with an incredible eye for detail, long before he turned his hand to writing the Bond novels each winter at his retreat in Jamaica, named Goldeneye. This brings together his writings on whisky, gin and other spirits, sourced from his personal experience and put into the James Bond books.
Shaken is, quite frankly, a tome which has been a real labour of love. Imagine having to read Fleming’s classic works, looking for all references to alcohol and cocktails, and then note them for compilation. This writer, an affirmed fan of Bond in print, film and comic form, would quite happily have done that.
The cocktails are superbly named – if you’re a fan of 007, you’ll spot the references to the Trueblood cocktail immediately (Bond’s secretary in Dr No), Mondays Are Hell (a working title for Moonraker), Dreamy Pines (a motel in The Spy Who Loved Me), whilst others, such as the Pussy Galore, Scaramanga and Dr No, are rather more obvious in their origin.
Recipes are divided into five categories: Straight Up; On The Rocks; Tall; Fizzy; and Exotic.
Read a sample cocktail here: Scaramanga1
Shaken wouldn’t be Shaken if it didn’t have the classic Bond cocktails such as the Vesper, which 007 created in the novel of Casino Royale, and, of course, the Dry Martini.
Each recipe is accompanied by extracts from Fleming’s writings – be it the passage where the classic drink was featured or a place, character or plot that inspired one of the drinks.
It’s a fantastic piece of work, and definitely one for the James Bond fan.
But a word of caution. In 2013, doctors in Derby and Nottingham read the 14 original novels, with a notebook at their side, to record every day and every drink.
Excluding the 36 days that 007 spend in prison, hospital or rehab, the British Secret Service’s top man downed 1,150 units of alcohol in 88 days. It works out at 92 units a week – about five vodka martinis a day and four times the recommended maximum intake for men in the UK.
So, if you are lucky enough to get a copy of Shaken – Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming, it’s probably best not to try and imitate him.
Shaken – Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming, by Edmund Wiel, Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson, published by Mitchell Beazley, £15.