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Vesper Martini

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Chef notes

Spending a weekend hanging out with the famous "King Cocktail," Dale DeGroff of New York’s fabulous Rainbow Room, unearthed my new favorite cocktail. I’ve never been one to go straight for a martini, but after chatting with Dale I found my ideal summer sip: the Vesper Martini.

Vodka or gin? The beginnings of the iconic martini were gin and vermouth. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s in the United States that vodka started to make a play. Today, most people mean vodka when they order one, unless they specifically request a gin martini. Can’t decide? Have both with a dab of Lillet Blanc — and voila! — you may just be a martini drinker after all.

Lillet Blanc is a bottle you must add to your bar for summer. It's a wine- based aperitif that has a light, honeyed citrus flavor, typically served with a slice of orange or lemon peel. On the rocks, with tonic or sparkling water, this pretty pour makes a light and refreshing, low- alcohol sip midday or for happy hour. For something stronger, enjoy it in this Vesper Martini.


  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc
  • twist of lemon


In a shaker filled with ice, stir all ingredients until well chilled. Serve in a martini glass or coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.