My favorite sitcom, Will & Grace, was responsible for one of the best drinking one-liners ever. “You say tomato, I say toe-mah-toe. You say potato, I say Vodka.” Today’s Thirsty Thursday lesson, children, will leave you running for the weekend and the nearest liquor store. If you dream of Ferris wheels and vodka filtered through cotton candy, that’s fair enough. But if you prefer your tater-booze filtered through diamonds, Dan Aykrod is the only guy on the planet who can fulfill that dream. Now that’s funny!
Since my preferred slice of heaven is an ice cold vodka martini, I was hankering to know what some of the world’s most famous vodka enthusiasts were drinking.
- Bond, James Bond – Agent 007 may have improved the USA’s vodka consumption single-handedly. In the novel Casino Royale, Bond named his vodka martini “Vesper,” after his hot government accomplice. His earliest vodka movie appearance was in the Bond film Goldfinger (circa 1964). My attempts at nailing down the exact vodka used in Ian Fleming’s books and films were in vain though. Every vodka distiller in the industry has laid claim to the spy’s vodka, but none with documented affinity. Looks like Mr. Shaken, Not Stirred gets to keep his mysterious persona and live to Die Another Day (most likely from cirrhosis).
- Bogie – Humphrey Bogart was known for claiming “I should have never switched from scotch to martinis.” We all remember Bogie standing on the runway telling Ingrid Bergman goodbye in Casablanca. I’m sure he wished he had a frosty martini glass to toast his famed temptress as she ran away with her husband. Who among us hasn’t been in that position before? Well, maybe just me…but you know what I’m talking about here.
- FDR – After years of alcohol drought, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt repealed prohibition, and promptly made a pre-dinner martini for his guests. That’s a man you want at your dinner party – change history by 2:00 p.m. and drink a two-fer by dessert.
- Truman Capote – He loved his little “orange drink.” Capote was widely known to drink Screwdrivers at all hours of day or night. A little vodka and a couple ounces of OJ made Truman a good boy. He cranked out multiple novels to much acclaim, including In Cold Blood. A little alcohol hallucination spurs the imagination. No wonder Capote was so prolific.
I’m certain you’ve reached the point in your Thirsty Thursday edition that you are wondering what Dan Aykrod has to do with diamonds and vodka. He and his business partner John Alexander are the names behind “Crystal Head Vodka.” Their vodka is filtered 7 times through Herkimer diamonds. In case you would like to serve a little Crystal Head at your next neighborhood bash, it’ll run you $40 – $90 depending on the style you prefer. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but a shaken, not stirred vodka martini is mother’s little helper.
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Vesper 007 Martini Recipe – 3 measures Gordon’s, 1 part vodka, 1/2 part Kina Lillet. Shaken, not stirred. Add lemon peel.
Martini photo by JamesBondLifestyle.com