May 14, 2019
The more I mulled it over, the more I realized that having just one quote from this Ian Fleming James Bond starring classic would be a mistake of mighty proportions (if you somehow manager to miss On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Part I
, as if you were skiing too fast and passed it right by, then please, go back and read that now). Especially because I find this second Cocktail Talk-ing so much fun in a silly kind of way. I mean, I like Daiquiris! I like Orange Blossoms! Sadly, there’s still a little of Bond’s backwards attitudes (as he sometimes has) today I feel, but that might be a conversation for another time. I don’t want to get us away from the below sipping.
Bond’s drink came and he was glad to find it strong. He took a long but discreet pull at it. He had noticed that the girls were drinking Colas and squashes with a sprinkling of feminine cocktails–Orange Blossoms, Daiquiris. Ruby was one of the ones with a Daiquiri. It was apparently OK to drink, but he would be careful to show a gentlemanly moderation.
–Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
May 7, 2019
I’ve only had one other Cocktail Talk post from Ian Fleming
I’m sad to admit, because (also sad to admit), I haven’t read all of his legendary James Bond books. Though I recently read On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
, and it reminded me that I need to go back and catch up on all of them. While a few bits are a little dated in a way, they move fast, they’re fun, and Bond seems a little less a super hero, a little more relatable somehow, than in the movies, especially the recent ones (but really, all of them in a way, though Mr. Connery is the closest, of course). This particular book is, well, I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t read it (though you should, even if you’ve seen the movies, cause they’re different indeed), but at least feel okay saying that it’s just-past-mid-way in the series, and features Bond skiing a fair amount, among other things. Moves along quickly, too, so while it might take you longer than watching a movie, it won’t cut too much into your day, and while you read, might as well have a drink! Which the below Cocktail quote might lead you to, too.
With efficient, housekeeperly movement he took out a bottle of Pinchbottle Haig & Haig, another of I.W. Harper bourbon, two pint glasses that looked like Waterford, a bucket of ice cubes, a siphon of soda, and a flagon of iced water. One by one he placed these on the desk between his chair and Bond’s. Then while Bond poured himself a stiff bourbon and water with plenty of ice, he went and sat down across the desk from Bond, reached for the Haig & Haig and said, looking Bond very directly in the eye, “I learned who you are from a good friend in the Deuxième in Paris.”
— Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
October 6, 2015
Well, if you don’t know Casino Royale from the movies or books, where have you been hiding? It’s the first James Bond-ing, for super-spy sake! Here’s a secret between us, though. I actually hadn’t read the book, until a few weeks back, when I was traveling in the UK. It was the perfect time, and you know what – the book holds up. Both as a thriller, but also as a character study. Everything gets over-done and distilled somewhat over time, but if you like a good quick read and aren’t opposed to spies and such, and haven’t read it, give it a whirl. It’s better than the movie! And, while the Vesper quote is duly famous, it has other memorable drinking scenes and drinks, too. Check the below, for an example:
The room was sumptuous with those over-masculine trappings which, together with briar pipes and wire-haired terriers, spell luxury in France. Everything was brass-studded leather and polished mahogany. The curtains and carpets were in royal blue. The waiters wore striped waistcoats and green baize aprons. Bond ordered an Americano and examined the sprinkling of over-dressed customers, mostly from Paris he guessed, who sat talking with focus and vivacity, creating that theatrically clubbable atmosphere of ‘l’heure de l’apéritif’.
The men were drinking inexhaustible quarter-bottles of Champagne, the women dry Martinis.
— Ian Fleming, Casino Royale
PS: That “Americano” would be the drink, if you’re wondering, not the coffee, which is a more recent way of moniker-ing that style of java.