Kerem Benyamini, who is the general manager at the Boston Harbor Hotel's Rowes Wharf Bar is such a Bond fan that he’s created a range of cocktails in honor of the film’s release. Now, many bars are touting the Vesper and bandying around that oft-used Bond quote — “shaken, not stirred” — and cashing in on Bond fever, but Benyamini went the extra mile. He curated a list of nine drinks derived from James Bond’s personal favorites, or drinks featured in Fleming’s books (and thereafter, the films).
Some cocktails reflect certain time periods, or locations. “If Bond is in Cuba it makes sense he’s drinking a mojito,” says Benyamini, who was raised in Israel before moving to Boston for college in 1998.
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“The common perception is of Bond drinking only Champagne and the Vesper, but the books include many different drinks,” says the 40-year-old, who lives in the West End. “There are more than even these drinks because every movie is different.”
“Doesn’t everyone want to be James Bond?” Benyamini asks rhetorically. “I like what Daniel Craig is doing, but Pierce Brosnan is my favorite.” As for his favorite drink on his menu, it is the Old Fashioned: “You can’t go wrong with any of these drinks, but I’m normally a Manhattan drinker, so the Old Fashioned would be my choice.”
Why does Bond still excite and thrill after all these years? Why isn’t the concept dated? The appeal is part myth, part nostalgia, and pure escapism. Another element is the comfort of a constant presence in today’s fast changing world: Benyamini says, “It takes me back to watching the films with my dad. The first one I remember was “Dr. No,” and from there I just got sucked into it.”
Benyamini doesn’t think of himself as a Bond super-fan but says, “I’ve seen each film more than once, let’s put it that way. I will be there the first night to see Spectre and will watch it in the theatre at least once, and maybe twice.”
The James Bond: Spectre cocktail menu is available at the Rowes Wharf Bar from Nov. 1-15. Rowes Wharf Bar is open at 4 p.m. daily and closes at midnight on Sundays and Mondays, and at 1 a.m. for the rest of the week. 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston. 617-439-7000. www.bhh.com.