Thanks James Bond (and Rob Clapper) for the Vesper martini.
When this beautiful pairing arrived to my table at East Tapas & Drinks, I was awestruck, first by the artful plating of the sashimi and then by the oversized martini with a curlicue of lemon zest.
After a taste of the tuna and a sip of the drink, I named the twosome "Beauty and the Beast." Beauty refers to the tuna shaped like a new rose and garnished with thinly sliced jalapeno, a zigzag of house-made ponzu glaze and a single stem of cilantro.
The Beast is a bit of back story, but suffice to say, the Vesper martini throws a punch, mixing together vodka, gin and Lillet, a French aperitif used in the drink instead of vermouth.
The cocktail’s origin is equally virile. Author Ian Fleming created the Vesper for James Bond in the 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” Named after the book’s lovely Vesper Lynn, the martini was shaken not stirred to meet Bond’s oft-repeated specifications.
Although owner Lisa Ansley is responsible for the extensive cocktail menu at East Tapas & Drinks, her husband Rob Clapper pushed for the Vesper’s inclusion. “It is his favorite drink,” Ansley explained. “He thought it only fair to give our customers a chance to have the drink as well.”
East Tapas & Drinks, 6069 Park (901-767-6002)