Mixed a couple of Vespers today, one built around Hendrick’s (oh my god) gin and the other upon the sturdy, manly, and yes, even Bondian Brokers. All for the sake of comparison. It’s a science, really, although I lost track of the scientific method somewhere along the way. No matter.
Hendricks Vesper: floral citrus, with a mild off after-taste engendered by the gin’s cucumber flavor. This was the milder of the two, not quite a straight-up Vesper due to the Hendricks. An enjoyable cocktail if you possess an acquired taste for Hendricks.
Brokers Vesper: stiff, crisp, even brutal, tundra-trudging and austere in the absence of anything but the essential gin-vodka-lillet flavor. Brokers’ 94-proof adds a measure of harsh to the mix. Truer to the original, which was mixed with Gordon’s gin back in the day when that liquor was also 94-proof.
Decision: Hendricks. Try Bombay Sapphire if Hendricks’ cucumbers aren’t to your liking and Brokers’ harsh doesn’t suit. Or man-up, because it’s a martini, after all.
Our next experiment: the Vesper mixed with quinine powder to better approximate Kina Lillet’s original flavor, no longer available and superseded by Lillet Blanc. Have to source the quinine, first.
And yes, I was watching Daniel Craig’s violent, yet sterile transit through the world as I sampled these libations. Poor Vesper.