Novel Statistics

You Asked For It, 1955

This section takes an in-depth look at the literary James Bond’s drinks of choice. Here is the total number of drinks consumed by Commander Bond in Ian Fleming's novels and short stories:

Drink Type Number
Bourbon whiskey 37
Sake 35
Champagne 30
Scotch and soda 21
Vodka martini 19
Straight scotch 17
Gin martini 16
Undetermined 14
Beer 12
Brandy and soda/ginger ale 12
Red wine/Chianti 11
Bourbon and branch water 10
Brandy or Cognac 8
Vodka and tonic 8
Bourbon and soda 7
Gin and tonic 7
White wine 7
Americano 6
Raki 5
Undetermined martini 5
Old Fashioned 4
Enzian 3
Stinger 3
Canadian whiskey 2
Korn Schnapps 2
Ouzo 2
Straight vodka 2
Undetermined whiskey 2
Black Velvet 1
Calvados 1
Irish Coffee 1
Marsala 1
Negroni 1
Pink gin 1
Rum 1
Slivovic 1
Steinhäger 1
Vesper martini 1
Total: 317

Bond’s drinks per-page ratio is one drink every seven pages (using the book lengths from the Signet paperbacks).

Bond is clearly a whiskey man, and throughout the novels he drinks 101 of them. Bourbon is his favorite liquor, and that doesn't even count 007's frequent enjoyment of doubles. Bourbon handily defeats scotch whisky, 58 to 38.

Sake comes in second, but this is entirely due to the vast amounts Bond drinks in just one novel, You Only Live Twice. Like his film counterpart, the literary 007 loves champagne. (On six occasions he has pink champagne.) Given that many of his 30 drinks of champagne were full bottles or portions of bottles (equaling at least another 30 glasses), champagne is clearly the literary Bond's second choice after whiskey. (For more on the way we tally drinks, see How We Count.) Among his preferred brands:

Champagne Brand Novel(s)
Bollinger Diamonds Are Forever
Dom Perignon ’46 Moonraker
Krug On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Pommery ’50 Goldfinger
Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blanc Casino Royale
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Veuve Clicquot Casino Royale
Veuve Clicquot Rosé Diamonds Are Forever

The vodka martini places at a somewhat lowly fifth place. Throw in gin martinis (as well as a few undetermined ones), and the martini total rises to a very respectable 41, even topping bourbon as a drink of choice. Bond has a total of 30 drinks containing vodka. The first novel in which Fleming uses the phrase "shaken and not stirred" is Diamonds Are Forever (although Bond does not actually say it until Doctor No).

There is something of a popular myth that the only reason James Bond is known as a vodka martini drinker is because of the placement of Smirnoff vodka in the film version of Dr. No. This is not true. Unlike his film counterpart, the literary Bond does drink gin martinis. However, 10 of the 16 gin martinis he drinks are prepared or ordered for him by other people (eight of them by Felix Leiter, who is definitely a gin martini man). The six that Bond orders for himself are consumed (three at a time) on just two separate occasions. Time and again, Fleming's 007 displays a clear preference for vodka martinis. By the way (to shoot down another myth), Bond drinks only one martini containing both vodka and gin, the Vesper in Casino Royale.

When he’s not enjoying alcohol, 007’s favorite drink is coffee. He drinks tea (which he normally abhors) in You Only Live Twice.

Bond’s women also share his taste for a good drink. Vesper Lynd and Tiffany Case are easily able to keep up with 007 (and it’s intimated that Vesper drinks a great deal more):

Bond Girl Drinks
Vesper Lynd 10
Solitaire 5
Gala Brand 4
Tiffany Case 9
Tatiana Romanova 7
Honeychile Rider 0
Pussy Galore 1
Domino Vitali 3
Vivienne Michel 1
Tracy di Vicenzo Bond 2
Kissy Suzuki 0
Mary Goodnight 3

Felix Leiter is 007’s best drinking buddy. He prefers Haig and Haig scotch, bourbon, and gin (never vodka) martinis:

Appearance by Leiter Drinks
Casino Royale 2
Live and Let Die 10
Diamonds Are Forever 7
Goldfinger 0
Thunderball 5
The Man with the Golden Gun 0
Total: 24

Bond has a number of friends and allies that share his tastes:

Bond's Friends Drinks
Rene Mathis 1
Kerim Bey 6
Quarrel 3
Enrico Colombo 4
Marc-Ange Draco 3
Tiger Tanaka 9
Dikko Henderson 13

By the way, M has eight drinks: five in Moonraker, two in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and one in The Man with the Golden Gun.

Finally, Bond’s opponents tend not to drink very much, if at all (Goldfinger, Blofeld and Scaramanga are all confirmed teetotalers). Several times during the later novels, Fleming opines that professional criminals don’t drink or smoke. The villain who drinks the most, Hugo Drax, appears to be a borderline alcoholic.

Villain Drinks
Le Chiffre 0
Mr. Big 0
Hugo Drax 4
Seraffimo Spang 1
“Red” Grant 0
Rosa Klebb 1
Dr. Julius No 0
Auric Goldfinger 0
Emilio Largo 1
Ernst Stavro Blofeld 0
Irma Bunt 0
Francisco Scaramanga 0

In Diamonds Are Forever, Wint and Kidd also have one drink each. While not a textbook villain, Milton Krest from “The Hildebrand Rarity” is a very heavy drinker.

Original material © 2001 The Minister of Martinis
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