Spy movies. I have a love hate relationship with the secret agents on the big screen. I nitpick the inaccuracies, criticize the absurd situations they find themselves in, and laugh about the caricature Hollywood has created. Six years undercover in the CIA will do that to someone.
Not to say I don’t still catch every single Bourne and Bond film that comes out. I do. I can’t get enough. But Hollywood kills me from the absurd situations spies find themselves in to the drinks they drink.
So, in the spirit of a website about alcohol-infused drinks, I want to pull back the cloak on one of the “secrets” of the spy world – no spy is ordering a vodka martini, shaken or stirred. Spies (and diplomats, for that matter) drink whiskey. Typically, Scotch. Usually over ice or neat. Perhaps it is a function of the modern counter-terrorism-focused spy living in desert climates of the Middle Eastern world. Perhaps it has always been this way…
I was surprised to learn that the James Bond in the Ian Fleming books went to the Scotch and Soda from time-to-time. I never really questioned the shaken, not stirred martini from the films as Bond is already a terribly unrealistic spook. But this revelation does make sense – Ian Fleming was a British WWII spy, after all!
So, today I bring you a simple spy drink – the Whiskey and Soda. Any whiskey will work, but for the sake of not further bastardizing the idea behind this drink ala Hollywood, I am going to present the original Haig Pinch Whiskey and Soda from the James Bond novels.
I presented this to the team at one of our planning sessions. Of course, it was a part of the concept of starting our journey with each step further into the exotic. A simple Whisky and Soda is a great step outside the comfort zone of the Scotch neat.
“The flavor of the drink is almost completely determined by the Scotch that you use. Bond’s Scotch of choice was Haig Pinch, which is a blended Scotch. He also drank Black & White Scotch (which is still available in the UK), but Haig Pinch seemed to be his favorite in Live and Let Die and in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
The secret operation:
1) Pint Glass
2) Measuring Cup
3) Tuxedo optional
1) Whiskey or Haig Pinch Blended Scotch like James Bond.
2) Club Soda
2 oz Scotch (Whiskey)
4-6 oz Club Soda
2:1 or 3:1 soda to Scotch
Fill pint glass with ice. Add whiskey, then soda. Enjoy!
Since I came across a lot of James Bond related articles, I also took the opportunity to present a cousin of the Scotch and Soda used in the Bond books: Bourbon and Branch. Simply, Bourbon and water. Purists require actual branch water, to be covered in a future post, but we had good ol’ fashioned water for the night.
Staying true to the books for the evening, I chose to present Old Granddads Rye Bourbon, ordered specifically by James Bond in Diamond are Forever.
Bourbon and Branch
There you have it, two simple spy drinks straight from the Ian Flemming Bond novels themselves! Simple drinks to add to the repertoire.