In the interest of Culinary Vicariousness, we are exploring and presenting to you the Strictly Gustatory Adventures of world-renowned super-spy James Bond, as recorded in the novels of Commander Ian Fleming.
James Bond, with two double bourbons inside him, sat in the final departure lounge of Miami Airport and thought about life and death.
He signalled to the waitress and ordered another double bourbon on the rocks.
Mr Du Pont grinned back, happy and relieved. “Why, gosh, Mr Bond. Of course I understand. And I do hope you’ll pardon me for butting in. You see . . .” He snapped his fingers for a waitress. “But we must have a drink to celebrate. What’ll you have?”
“Thanks. Bourbon on the rocks.”
And to the head waiter, “Stone crabs. Not Frozen. Fresh. Melted butter. Thick toast. Right?”
“Two pints of pink champagne. The Pommery ’50. Silver tankards. Right?”
Bond said, “Vodka martini, please. With a slice of lemon peel.”
Bond nodded. The martinis came. Mr Du Pont said to the wine waiter, “bring two more in ten minutes.”
The meat of the stone crabs was the tenderest, sweetest shellfish he had ever tasted. It was perfectly set off by the dry toast and the slightly burned taste of the melted butter. The champagne seemed to have the faintest scent of strawberries.
Mr Du Pont was satisfied. He called for coffee. Bond refused the offer of cigars or liqueurs. He lit a cigarette and waited for the catch to be presented.
He went back into the bedroom, picked up the telephone and ordered himself a delicious, wasteful breakfast, a carton of king-size Chesterfields and the newspapers.
After luncheon—the traditional shrimp cocktail, “native” snapper with a minute paper cup of tartare sauce, roast prime ribs of beef au jus, and pineapple surprise—it was time for the siesta before meeting Goldfinger at three o’clock for the afternoon session.
“Book me a compartment on the Silver Meteor to New York tonight. Have a bottle of champagne on ice in the compartment and plenty of caviar sandwiches. The best caviar.”
On the first night the girl had brought him tea. Bond had looked at her severely. “I don’t drink tea. I hate it. It’s mud. Moreover it’s one of the reasons for the downfall of the British Empire. Be a good girl and make me some coffee.”
Bond inspected his room, a double with bathroom, on the top floor of the Channel Packet, unpacked his few belongings and went down to the snack bar where he had one vodka and tonic and two rounds of excellent ham sandwiches with plenty of mustard.
At six o’clock Bond went down to the bar and had a large vodka and tonic with a slice of lemon peel.
Bond walked over to the drink tray and poured himself a strong gin and tonic.
The first course was some curried mess with rice. Goldfinger noticed Bond’s hesitation. He gave a dry chuckle. “It’s all right, Mr Bond. Shrimp, not the cat.”
“Please try the Moselle. I hope it will be to your taste. It is a Piesporter Goldtröpfchen ’53.
The two men cleared away the plates and brought roast duckling and a bottle of Mouton Rothschild 1947 for Bond.
An excellent cheese soufflé came and was followed by coffee.
Bond had a hot bath, went back to his car to make sure the Rolls hadn’t moved, and walked into the station restaurant and ate one of his favourite meals—two oeufs cocotte á la creme, a large sole meuniére (Orleans was close enough to the sea. The fish of the Loire are inclined to be muddy) and an adequate Camembert. He drank a well-iced pint of Rosé d’Anjou and had a Hennessy’s Three Star with his coffee.
The Enzian, the firewater distilled from gentian that is responsible for Switzerland’s chronic alcoholism, was beginning to warm Bond’s stomach and melt his tensions. He ordered another double and with it a choucroute and a carafe of Fondant.
Bond ordered a slice of gruyère, pumpernickel and coffee.
Bond said sharply, “Oddjob, I want a lot of food, quickly. And a bottle of bourbon, soda and ice. Also a carton of Chesterfields, king-size, and either my own watch or another one as good as mine.”
Bond was having a quiet square meal of caviar and champagne and thinking how well Goldfinger had handled the meeting when the door opened and one of the Koreans hurried in and went up to Goldfinger.
Bond said equably, “We will have a talk, Goldfinger. And I will tell you certain things. But not until you have taken off these straps and brought me a bottle of bourbon, ice, soda water and a packet of Chesterfields.”
On the way back past the shambles of the galley he saw an unbroken bottle of bourbon rolling gently to and fro among the wreckage. He picked it up and pulled the cork and tilted it into his open mouth.
Previous installments of this series may be found here.