Now "let's talk shop."
Unless you've stumbled across a vintage case from the 40's, Kina Lillet is no longer to be found. These days, Lillet Blanc is simply a sweet white wine in total.
A true "martini" was Gin with a splash of vermouth. Fleming dedicated himself (repeatedly)
to creating a unique martini at Scott's in London - theory also has him taking his task to the Rivoli bar at the Ritz, El Vino and the St. James club (hey, we all know the man did his research *ahem* ).
As I've stated in several threads here and about, it comes down to taste and what I find interesting is how the Lillet balances the match between the Gin and the Vodka.
So, that being stated, here is my preferred order. To each their own, but, done properly, this, to many others taste, seem to "hit the spot, spot on."
Three measures gin - I (through many Gin afficianado's) find that Bombay Sapphire is closest to what Gordon's was back in the early 50's in terms of flavour. Nothing against dear old Gordy now, but it was just well...different back then. So I'm told.
Now, the Vodka. Talk about a laundry list these days.
Forget product placement. There are too many to choose from. You like what you like. For myself, I like Belvedere or Chopin. Smooth. Filtered. If you are adamant about Russian, Stoli Crystal fits the bill.
If you don't have Lillet available (few other than the high end lounges or restaurants carry it) ask for half a measure of the house chardonnay and have them add a splash of good old dry vermouth.
Happily, my favorite Italian spot (consult darkpath for testimony) carry the proper makings for a Vesper.
They've also named another cocktail for a lady in my life. It's titled a "CosMonique".
If you want the recipe, you can PM me.
and remember: "Martini's are like breasts. One is not enough. Two are perfect. Three are too many."