IAN FLEMING'S BIRTHDAY - MAY 28, 1908
The anniversary of author Ian Fleming’s birth is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the impact on popular culture of his most famous creation, James Bond. That being said, I really only know about music and booze.
There are lots of cool things to talk about regarding music from the Eon Production film series that premiered in 1962. Highlights from the 60s included Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger, Tom Jones’ Thunderball, and Nancy Sinatra’s You Only Live Twice. Of particular NOLA interest is the song We Have All the Time in The World performed by Louis Armstrong in 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
The 70’s brought back the only artist to sing more than one theme, Shirley Bassey, for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever AND 1979’s Moonraker. This decade also generated the first song to break into the top 10 on the charts, Live and Let Die by Wings. Incidentally, much of this movie, as you know, was filmed in the New Orleans area.
The 1980’s brought two more firsts. 1981’s For Your Eyes Only was the first time the performing artist appeared during the famed opening credit sequence; Sheena Easton, not a bad choice for this honor. 1983’s “Octopussy” was the first time the song did not have the same name as the movie. The tune was All Time High by Rita Cooledge. Over the next couple decades the songs, and some of the movies, I thought were less than memorable. However, Bond theme music came back with vengeance in 2012. Adele’s haunting and powerful performance of Skyfall won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
This is how 007 introduced the Vesper Cocktail in the 1953 novel Casino Royale: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.” Kina Lillet’s recipe was reformulated in 1986 to reduce its bitterness and make it more palatable to modern tastes. It was renamed Lillet Blanc. Today, Italian aperitif Cocchi Americano comes very close to capturing the essence of the original Kina Lillet.
3 – Gin (94 proof London Dry style like Tanquary or Bombay Sapphire)
1 – Vodka (100 proof)
½ - Cocchi Americano
Garnish – Lemon peel.
Drink and be merry!