James Bond

Words by Theodora Sutcliffe

Profession: Spy

So who was James Bond?

Seriously, you need to ask this? A creation of the wartime spy, Ian Fleming, James Bond is one of cinema's most enduring characters, his demeanour changing effortlessly with the times, from the 60s machismo of Sean Connery to Daniel Craig's post-Bourne angst, via Roger Moore's 70s cheese, Timothy Dalton's 80s intensity, Pierce Brosnan's suave, powerful 90s man and... well, we don't like to mention George Lazenby.

Where did he drink?

In the books, James Bond is, naturally, a fan of the Paris Ritz, as well as Scott's in London, while he enjoys dinner at the 21 Club in New York. He visits the Savoy Ballroom, although never the bar. Many of the world's most iconic hotels have done duty as Bond film sets, along with at least two revolving restaurants: Piz Gloria in the Alps, and the one at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

What did he drink?

A diehard cocktail fan, James Bond enjoys Vodka Martinis, Dry Martinis, Vespers, Old-Fashioneds, Negronis, Americanos and even a Stinger: his choice of Smirnoff in Dr. No, fifty years ago, is an outstanding example of product placement, though by no means the world first it is sometimes considered.

The books feature an impressive selection of high-ticket vino, from Dom Perignon ('46), Clicquot, Krug, Pommery and Taittinger through to Chateau Mouton-Rothschild ('34). In the books Bond consumes a humble Scotch and soda no fewer than 21 times, approaches his creator's impressive consumption of gin, sometimes with tonic, and engages in the classic Russian tactic of dropping pepper on vodka to absorb fusel oils.

This October, for the second time in his cinematic career, the world's most famous martini drinker will be supping beer - a Heineken, no less, in a deal worth a reported $45million.

Any famous drinking buddies?

Being a Bond girl used to be career death, although Jane Seymour and Honor Blackman managed to survive the curse of 007. More recently, Madonna and Grace Jones have appeared with the great man, as has Halle Berry.

How did drink change his life?

Bond's consumption of spirits, in particular, is heroic: during the 70s, calculations had him consuming a litre of the hard stuff every day. Yet, as he explains to Felix Leiter, 'When I'm...er...concentrating, I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad.'

While Bond occasionally simulates drunkenness for effect - notably when playing Hugo Drax at Bridge in Moonraker - the only time he has been seen drunk is in Quantum of Solace, where he consumes an impressive six Vespers and adopts a state of manly melancholy.

Any drinking stories?

While most of Bond's drinking follows a fairly set path to hotel suites and seduction, License to Kill does include a rather impressive bar fight, complete with shotguns, knives, strippers and an enormous swordfish.

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