The name’s Bond. James Bond.
Its no time to lie – everyone wants to claim the world’s most famous spy as their own. If James Bond sips booze in a bar, that brand’s sales soar. So no-one targets James Bond more ruthlessly than marketing men – with a view to making a killing. He may be fictional but his influence is real. Currently Bollinger claims him – although I notice he didn’t sip any Bollinger in the latest film – but Bond is as fickle with his tipple as he is with his women. Diamonds are forever, brands are not.
Its impossible to say the words ‘Vodka Martini’ without someone interjecting ‘shaken not stirred’, What I’m interested in is his choice of fizz. We can forgive him for drinking Champagne – after all, English Sparkling was not even a twinkle in the eye when Ian Fleming wrote the Bond books, so we should probably Live and Let Die . But which Champagne did he drink? In the first novel, Casino Royale he declared Tattinger Blanc de Blancs Brut 1943 as ‘probably the finest Champagne in the world’. Sounds delicious – but he was already mixing things up by dropping into Scott’s in Diamonds are Forever for “dressed crab and a pint of black velvet” (namely Stout and Champagne). Ah Well! You only live twice.
By the Moonraker film, Tattinger appears to have lost its lustre as Bond swops to Dom Perignon and declares Tattinger as ‘only a fad of mine’. In the novels (perhaps characteristically) Bond flirts with the Widow, slurping a little Veuve Cliquot, but he also enjoys Krug, Pommery and Bollinger.
Film sponsorship and product placement gave Bollinger the right to use the image of Daniel Craig as Bond. He stared broodingly from the interior of the foil of Bollinger’s special edition bottles. Its surprising Bollinger features in the films so often as it was only mentioned twice in the 14 books – in Diamonds are Forever and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, if you’re asking.
Bond loves cocktails. He invented a Vesper Martini for his first love – the unpredictable Vesper from Casino Royale. For your eyes only, here’s the recipe: In a deep champagne pour 3 measures of gin, one of vodka, half of Lillet and shake it before adding a slice of lemon peel. Serve ice-cold, obviously only to the uber-cool. Say what you like about this murderous heartthrob, he mixes a mean cocktail. 007 is truly licensed to thrill, and nobody does it better.
So if it had been an option, would Bond have sipped English? We’ll never know for sure, but I suspect that the spy who loved fizz might have signed up for Her Majesty’s Sipping Service. It would have scared the living daylights out of the Champagnois and made their Skyfall. Could it still happen? Never say never again. Which one he would he chose?
I spy with my little eye ……