Ian Fleming had a long fascination with diamond smuggling, and his investigation into the illicit trade in 1950s Africa yielded both a well-received non-fiction book, The Diamond Smugglers, and the JamesBond novel Diamonds Are Forever. In it, Bond investigates a diamond-smuggling pipeline which begins in French Guinea and ends in Las Vegas. The title calls for a drink that is clear to the centre, but with remarkable depths of flavour.Against the backdrop of an excellent vodka, subtle notes of pear and citrus complement a light and floral Champagne, and the aromatised wine (Lillet Blanc)adds enough complexity to make this cocktail an enduring classic. A chunk of clear ice keeps the drink chilled with minimum dilution and provides a smart visual reference to the name of the drink.
15ml (1⁄2fl oz) Belvedere vodka (or other premium vodka)
1⁄2 teaspoon pear eau de vie
15ml (1⁄2fl oz) créme de poire
15ml (1⁄2fl oz) Lillet Blanc
2 dashes of lemon bitters
Brut Champagne, to top up
strip of lemon peel
jasmine flower, to garnish
Measure the vodka, eau de vie, crème de poire, Lilletand bitters into a frosted mixing glass and top up with ice. Stir until very cold, then strain into a frosted coupette over a single large chunk of ice, preferably moulded or carved into a diamond shape. Top with the Champagne, spritz the lemon peel over the glass to express the oils and discard.
NOTE: ice chunks are the next level up from a cube.Many cocktail bars now buy huge blocks of clear ice, which they saw or pick into the right size.
Recipe from Shaken: 007 the official cocktail book