James Bond will be back on premium vodka in the new film Spectre due to hit cinemas in November 2015, with a luxury Polish vodka brand signing a lucrative partnership deal, marking a return to the spirit from changing preferences in earlier Bond films.
James Chapman, a Bond expert at the University of Leicester, says brand is important when it comes to the iconic spymaster: “James Bond has always been associated with high-end consumer goods, especially when it comes to food and drink. Ian Fleming's books are replete with references to brand names”.
He adds: “These served two purposes. In the social context of post-war Britain - the first Bond novel Casino Royale was published in 1953 - the prominence of brand-name products was a sign of the shift from wartime austerity to post-war affluence. And Bond's expensive tastes reflected a fantasy world in which access to consumer products went hand in hand with his sexual prowess.”
Bond’s drinking habits have always been a central aspect of the James Bond lifestyle. Fleming's Bond famously invented the 'Vesper' martini in Casino Royale, and, while his preferred drink was bourbon, the vodka martini was there for special occasions such as his dinner at M's club Blades (Moonraker) and his sumptuous dinner with American millionaire Mr Du Pont (Goldfinger).
The vodka martini became Bond’s drink of choice in the James Bond movies – beginning with Dr No in 1962 when Sean Connery's Bond is first seen drinking a 'medium dry vodka martini' with a slice of lemon peel.
Chapman adds: “One-time Bond George Lazenby asked his bride-to-be Diana Rigg to ‘keep my martini cool’ in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Roger Moore's Bond tended to allow other characters to order the martinis for him - and by this stage of his career every barman and beautiful spy in the world knew that he liked it ‘shaken not stirred’. Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan also partook of Bond's signature drink, and in the film of Casino Royale (2006), Daniel Craig even ordered a 'Vesper' according to Fleming's recipe”.
In Skyfall (2012), 007 was controversially seen drinking Heineken in preference to his usual martini. But this was a temporary aberration as Bond had been accidentally shot while on a mission and at the time was presumed dead.
“The news that Bond will once again be drinking premium vodka in the forthcoming film Spectre will be welcomed by all Bond fans as a return to the true 007,” Chapman adds.