DrinksTraveller Exclusives

What’s Your Poison: How To Drink Like James Bond

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“No Mr. Bond – I expect you to die… slowly, of cirrhosis or other alcohol-related complications.”

James Bond loved a good beverage. Whether it was his aesthetically unfit shaken martini, or whisky on the rocks, the sophisticated gentleman drank so much that it forced the British Medical Journal to conduct a study on his boozing habits. His panache for a hard beverage was measured by experts, and it turned out that across all the Bond books, the mister drank 1,150 units of alcohol in 88 days, amounting to about 92 units a week. This is four times the recommended safe limit. As per these numbers, James was risking impotence, liver damage and early death.

So what was Bond’s poison? Mostly champagne (in those dreamy vintage glasses), then scotch and soda, sometimes vodka martinis (when he plotted something dangerous) and often a gin variant of the martini. As heroic as Agent 007 seemed, he also set a serious bar for drinkers alike. He made it seem like a fantasy; a dreamy lifestyle where alcoholism was never a concern.

In 1953’s Casino Royale, Bond revealed secret for his dirty Vesper martini: “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?” While the man only drank one drink before dinner, he liked “that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made”.

Drinking profusely and handsomely like Bond might not be an agenda for your regular Friday night, but there are some travel exclusive hard beverages available across UK’s top airports which you might want to visit before rushing to your gate.

Old Fashioned

This is a true gentleman’s drink. The Old Fashioned is one of those cocktail where masculinity is mixed with savoir faire and it all ends up in a beautifully crusted glass. The Old Fashion was born in southern America, and it’s being drunk for over two centuries. All it asks for is a little bit of sugar, a dash of bitter, whisky and a sliver of orange. Simple, revolutionary and delicious.

While an old-fashioned is traditionally made with whisky, a contemporary man doesn’t follow rules. Isn’t that what Agent 007 would do? In the late 1960s the Maestros del Ron Cubano pioneered a new chapter in Cuban rum. For Havana 7 they created the ‘continuous ageing’ process where part of each final batch of Havana 7 is put back in the barrel to age, to be used in a future production. This creates the great complexity in its flavours and ideal for a rum-based Old Fashioned.

If you’re flying through Heathrow Terminal 5 in September, visit the Havana pop-up stall for a taste of Havana 7.

Gin Martini

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If James Bond were to travel to Scotland and fight the bad guys in kilts, we reckon he’d do so with a Caorunn gin martini in hand. Hailing from the Scottish Highlands, Caorunn gin is aromatic, dry, clean, crisp, fruity, floral and very suave when served with a slice of red apple. It’s handcrafted in small batches at Balmenach Distillery in Scotland’s Speyside region and its organic flavours represent the botanicals of the area.

To usher in the crisp season in the UK, Caorunn has collaborated with Scottish fashion designer Siobhan MacKenzie to design special kilt casings for the bottle. There are a total of 500 bottles of these dressed up mini kilt men wearing 100% Scottish Wool kilts complete with pleats and available exclusively for passengers travelling through the Glasgow airport.

Scotch And Soda

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James Bond’s desire for Scotch and Soda wasn’t seen in the high-budget movies, but this beverage’s presence is all over the literature of 007. An English gentleman loves a good scotch, especially when it’s a Single Malt.

Old Pulteney has revealed an exceptional limited edition version of its 1985 single cask, which is a 32-year old single malt Scotch whisky. This is exclusively available at Edinburgh International Airport’s World of Whiskies shop.

This rare cask has a natural colour, and has matured in an American Oak ex-bourbon cask, before being bottled. Its bronze highlights are scented with elegance of apricot, pear, honey and dark chocolate.

Do you approve, Mr Bond?

Shitika Anand
written by: Shitika Anand
Shitika is a storyteller and digital content creator, currently living the digital nomad life in Asia. Her words have been published in Time Out, WWD, CNN, Grazia, Forbes and The Huffington Post.