June 19, 2021 – National Watch Day | World Martini Day

The Vesper Martini May Be The Most Famous Drink, But The Original Ingredients Are No Longer Available!

Welcome to June 19th, 2021 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate timeless timepieces and “first class” drinks. 

In the late 1800s, wristwatches gained popularity throughout Europe, replacing the more common pocket watches. To Americans, this seemed like just another fancy European fashion trend that would fade into obscurity after a few years. But, as we know, that was not the case. The thing that made Americans change their opinion on these new timepieces was World War I. While in combat, soldiers needed a reliable way to check the time. Pulling out a pocket watch was impractical, but a wristwatch required nothing more than a quick glance. After the war, soldiers had become accustomed to using this new style of watch and it caught on with the public back home. On National Watch Day, celebrate this timeless accessory that still manages to catch our eye.

When the James Bond movies debuted in the late 1960s, the popularity of martinis went up.  Today, there are endless variations including chocolate and apple pie, but back in the day there were only three classic choices, the Gibson, the Dirty martini and the Vesper.  The last one is James Bond’s favorite made with gin, vodka and Kina lee-LAY, a bitter wine aperitif. According to Ian Fleming, the writer who created Bond’s character, the Vesper is “strong, cold and very well made,” much like the world’s most famous spy.  And like Bond, the drink has an air of mystery to it.  Kina lee-LAY no longer exists, so mixologists have to improvise to emulate the Vesper’s original taste. On World Martini Day, raise a glass to one of the classiest cocktails and be sure to enjoy it shaken, not stirred.  

I’m Anna Devere and I’m Marlo Anderson.  Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day.

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