Whoop whoop! We've been scrambling to get your club shipment out in a timely manner and haven't had much time to focus on blogs, but I do have a tale of the city to share today.
We went to the city a couple weekends ago, a glorified stay-cation if you will. We scooted around SF and finished up at the Top of the Mark. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. You have a 360 view of the city from this beautiful lounge. Casual dress is ok, but we had packed a couple items to freshen ourselves up from the Scoots' (rentable scooters) helmets.
After pretty much redressing out of the trunk of our car, our friends and us headed to the International Mark Hopkins Hotel. There was a line for the elevator, as usual. It's worth it! We quickly sped our way to the top, and stepped out. The setting sun was shining its rays across the entire room, and we were able to get a window seat. Had we arrived 30 minutes later, we would have been lucky just to get a seat. Our wonderful waiter named Jim took great care of us, listened to our questions, and fulfilled our orders swiftly and expertly. They have a cocktail menu miles long, but for a type of place to sip a drink in the city, the prices are very competitive.
I ordered a 'Vesper'. When your drink comes out and it's clear, you just know it's dangerous. But, it was exactly what I was craving, refreshing and crisp after a long day in the winds and hills.
The Vesper is named after the love interest of the famous 007 agent, James Bond. He created the drink in the 1953 novel Casino Royale.
"A dry martini," Bond said. "One. In a deep champagne goblet."
"Just a moment. 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?"
"Certainly, monsieur." The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
"Gosh, that's certainly a drink," said Leiter.
Bond laughed. "When I'm...er...concentrating," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."
—Ian Fleming, Casino Royale, Chapter 7, "Rouge et Noir
Bond said after taking a long sip, “Excellent .... but if you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it still better.” I am sure he would think of it being made exclusively from Sauvignon Blanc grapes would be the only way to drink it.
*spoiler alert* He never again consumes the drink after the death of the namesake.
I have since looked up the official recipe and was thrilled to find out we can make a Napa Valley Vesper.
3 part Old Hollywood Ginn
1 part Napa Reserve Neutral Brandy
half measure equal parts NVD Meyer Lemon Variety and Lillet Blonde
Shake with ice until cold, then strain and pour. Garnish with a lemon peel. Enjoy!*
Until next time,
PS: Want to watch that scene? Click here.
*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.