food and drink

Drink Martinis in the London Bar That Ian Fleming Frequented

Are you a frequent traveler who can never find anywhere interesting to eat or have a drink? Do you know what a Big-Mac tastes like in more than one country? Do you only ever order Budweiser when you visit a far-off land? None of us are getting any younger. Variety is the spice of life. Take a chance on your next travel trip and visit someplace out of the way or not in your original travel plans. Eat or drink somewhere interesting. Why not the famous Dukes Hotel in London?

The Dukes Hotel

The world famous Dukes Hotel, in London, England, boasts a bar that is imbued with the literary and cinematic history of a fictional spy character who is a globally ubiquitous household name. (Which is odd, since spies are supposed to be undercover, but, whatever.) That’s right. Bond. James Bond.


Back in the 20th century, the Dukes Bar is the bar that Ian Fleming frequently patronized to wet his whistle. He wrote some of James Bond’s earliest stories there. Legend has it that the Dukes Bar was where Fleming coined the cinematically immortal phrase, “shaken, not stirred.” In celebration of over 50 years of James Bond, the Dukes Bar is featuring 2 new James Bond martini cocktails inspired by stories of the superspy and creator Ian Fleming.

Top Concoctions

You can order a "Fleming’s Classic Vesper," martini cocktail. It features measures of No. 3 London Dry Gin, Angostura bitters, Lillet Blanc and a dash of Polish vodka. It costs about $23. A little FYI here; a martini is a cocktail drink featuring measures of gin and vermouth in its most basic form. Vermouth is a kind of aromatic wine infused with herbs and spices. The martini is named after the Bond character Vesper Lynd. The Vesper Lynd character was probably modeled after a real-life Polish army officer named Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek. She worked for the British during WWII. She later changed her name to Christine Granville and is believed to have been Fleming’s lover. The Fleming 89 martini cocktail features a measure of tonka beans for their vanilla flavor, a sugared rose, rose liqueur, Vermouth, Lillet Blanc and a dash of Russian vodka. This one martini drink will set you back about $26. The bartenders on duty will wheel out a spirits’ trolley and mix the martini in front of you for a little show. They will even hand you your drink in cold-frosted martini glasses. Just don’t expect cinematic dialogue or action movie character development from the staff.

Wrapping Up

If you go on a trip, all you’ve done is spent hundreds or thousands of dollars for a 2-week stay, at best, in a different part of the world. Why would you automatically go for the expected, or worse, dreadfully familiar? Try going off the beaten path for once. Believe us, it doesn’t take much effort. For example, All you really have to bring for a visit to the Duke Bar is your legal ID and a thirsty, nostalgic spirit. Just one small thing: while having a license to kill would be awesome, they don’t actually exist.

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