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Vesper Rides Again

The Cocktail Guru & Rhode Island Spirits Bring the Vesper to Diamonds Are Forever

Date:    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

"Just a moment. Three measures of  Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"

James Bond, Casino Royale

Before the vodka martini, James Bond's introduction to the world began with the Vesper, the little known cocktail dreamed up by a friend of the author, Ian Flemming found in the pages of the first Bond novel.  The Vesper was only mentioned twice in the series of novels, Bond's first appearance in Casino Royale, and again when CIA agent Felix Leiter ordered a Vesper for Bond in Diamonds Are Forever.  It hit the mainstream at the debut of Casino Royale's film adaptation when Bond calls the barman to the poker table and recites the now famous recipe.  Even at the time of the film release, excited moviegoers couldn't get an original formula Vesper since Kina Lillet was discontinued in the 1980s.

Though it didn't take Bond level espionage or a license to kill, The Cocktail Guru and the master distillers of Rhode Island Spirits have revived the original Vesper formulation to wow attendees at the Diamonds Are Forever Gala.

Rhode Island Spirits is a local distillery based in Pawtucket, RI.  The distillery recently celebrated its grand opening to much acclaim for its locally sourced ingredients, including 100% organic corn base for all its spirits.  Look for Rhodium Gin, Vodka, and Lemoncello in New England area stores and visit the Pawtucket tasting room, featuring cocktails to showcase these spirits as well as test batch samples.

The Cocktail Guru, familiar to gala attendees and anyone who may have seen him on local and national TV, will be mixing up Bond's classic creation on the Marble House lawn to start the evening off.  Alongside Bond's creation will be The Cocktail Guru's signature Newport Polo libation, the Westchester Fizz a champagne-based delight that we think Bond would approve of.

Tickets for Diamonds Are Forever, the 19th annual International Polo Charity Ball are sold out.  There's still time to RSVP for the pre-party on The Chanler's Cliff Walk Terrace for a welcome reception with the South African Polo Team.

Proceeds from Diamonds Are Forever will benefit the Newport Music Festival.  The Newport Music Festivals, now entering its 51st season, has been a mecca for acclaimed classical musicians from around the globe who come to Newport to perform, to inspire, and to be inspired.  The 2019 Festival will continue to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike by offering 45 concerts reaching 10,000 audience members, including performances by such renowned artists as Metropolitan Opera baritone Nathan Gunn; theatrical actress and singer Sierra Boggess, who reinvented the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera; and piano virtuoso and composer Marc-André Hamelin, to name but a few.  This season NMF will also build upon the inclusive, accessible programs first implemented in 2018 as part of its 50th Anniversary Season, including three free community concerts as well as special music education initiatives for underserved young people.  The 2019 schedule and additional information can be found at

The Polo Ball will take place at Marble House, one of Newport’s foremost Gilded Age mansions on Bellevue Avenue, completed in 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, grandson of railroad baron Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. William's wife, Alva Vanderbilt was a leading hostess in Newport society and envisioned Marble House as her "temple to the arts".

Newport Polo is the host of the Newport International Polo Series, and home of America's first polo club, offering exhibition polo and club member services and instruction for outdoor & arena polo. Est. in 1876; founding member of the United States Polo Association.  Now in its 28th season, acting as a global ambassador to the sport of polo, teams from 34 countries will have taken to the field for the Newport International Polo Series, including challengers from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, India, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore,  Monaco, Morocco, Peru and Poland.

Newport Polo's 2019 Charitable Initiatives
In its past 27 years, Newport Polo is proud to have helped raise over $1,400,000 for nonprofit organizations through its gala auction, its benefit matches, and ticket donations for the Newport International Polo Series, among other fundraising efforts.

For Gala Sponsorship opportunities or Auction donations for the 2019 gala and auction, please direct inquiries to
Newport Polo will host additional charitable initiatives in 2019, including benefit polo matches on May 25th and July 14th, offering fundraising opportunities to participating 501-c-3 organizations. For more information, please email

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