In a scene in the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace (out in Europe, and premiering in the U.S. this Friday), 007 sits alone in the first class compartment of an international flight, slamming martinis to forget his worries. When asked by a colleague what he's drinking, a foggy Bond can't respond; the bartender answers for him. (Read Richard Corliss' review of the film)
Visibly drunk is a rare look for a character who, over 46 years on the big screen (and 22 official Bond titles), has demonstrated a refined taste for alcohol, ordering libations from Dom Pérignon to mint juleps and influencing a whole generation of fans on what's hip to sip. "Instead of an action hero chugging a beer or pounding down a shot, it's clear that Ian Fleming started this franchise with a real sense of taste if you'll pardon the pun for fine living and nice drinks," says Tom Sisson, director of the New York Bartending School. "People notice what Bond orders." (TIME travels to London to learn how to make the perfect Vesper Martini)
Audiences noticed when, in 2002's Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan saddled up to the bar and placed an order for a mojito. Sisson says the drink was already becoming popular in Miami, where he was working at the time, but that Bond's affinity for muddled mint launched the mojito to national stardom. In earlier films, Bond's choice of drinks varied widely. He ordered a rum Collins in Thunderball, the liquorice-flavored Middle Eastern drink Raki in From Russia With Love, and even a bottle of Budweiser in License to Kill.
Of course, the definitive Bond bar scene was the first one, in 1962's Dr. No, when Sean Connery ordered a shaken vodka martini that not only bucked the cocktail conventions of the time but rewrote the liquor guidelines in Fleming's books. "Up until that time in the 1960s, when you said martini, you meant a gin martini ... and gin martinis you don't want to shake because there's a theory that it will bruise the gin as air gets in there and the ice dilutes the drink," Sisson says. "Then Bond ordered a vodka martini, and with vodka, it doesn't really matter if you shake it. So it didn't take that long for sales of vodka martinis, shaken and not stirred, to go through the roof."
The shaken vodka martini era in Bond films lasted almost 25 years, until Daniel Craig took the role of Bond in 2006's Casino Royale. Reverting to the original recipe from Fleming's first Bond book, Craig's 007 ordered a drink he dubbed the Vesper a hybrid martini that is three parts gin and one part vodka, mixed with a half-ounce of Kina Lillet. Ordering the drink, Bond's words in the film were an exact echo of the dialogue in Fleming's 1953 Casino Royale story.
To be sure, Bond's tastes have not always caught on. Sisson says the Vesper struggled to become a fad because Lillet wine is hardly ubiquitous, available only in select bars and lounges. He also says that Bond's affinity for Bollinger champagne has not quite caught on with typical American drinkers.
But average drinkers might benefit from one of Bond's lesser known inventions: a hangover cure. "Brandy with club soda and a couple of phensic tablets," Sisson says. "You don't imagine Bond having a hangover, so this shows a very different side of him." (See TIME's complete "Bond Week" coverage)
Here are seven recipes a sampling of 007's favorite cocktails:
Vesper Martini (Casino Royale): Three ounces of Gordon's gin, one ounce of vodka , half-ounce of Lillet Blanc, shake over ice and add a slim slice of lemon peel.
Mojito (Die Another Day): Three sprigs of fresh mint, two tablespoons of sugar, three tablespoons of fresh lime guice, 1.5-ounces of light rum and club soda.
Rum Collins (Thunderball): Two ounces light rum, a juiced lime, a tablespoon of powdered sugar, carbonated water, a sliced lemon and a cherry.
Mint Julep (Goldfinger): Four fresh sprigs of mint, 2.5-ounces of bourbon whiskey, one tablespoon of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of water. As Bond says in the film: Sour mash, but not too sweet, please.
Gluhwein (For Your Eyes Only): The Swedish form of mulled wine, made with a mixture of spices and served warm.
Spicy Bloody Mary (Never Say Never Again): As ordered by Bond's romantic interest: Double Bloody Mary with plenty of Worcestershire sauce. 1.5-ounces of vodka, three ounces of tomato juice, one dash of lemon juice, a half teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, two to three drops of Tabasco sauce, and one lime wedge.
Bond Does Beer (License to Kill): Bond rendezvous with Pam in Bimini and both order a Bud with Lime. But before 007 can take a swig, he must fight off a henchman with a gun, knocking over the beers in the brawl. Bond's cheapest bar tab ever: $3.50.