Fine à l’eau

This is the drink that James Bond orders for Rene Mathis when the latter introduces him to Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale.

This drink – just cognac (or Brandy) with water – is a simple drink which was once very popular:

The most popular way to drink Cognac used to be the “Fine à l’eau” until World War II. Take a measure of Pierre de Segonzac Prestige, pour in 3 measures of pure water and that’s it : contrary to a popular belief, water gives you the chance to appreciate aromas during the first ten minutes.

You can also use sparkling water as well. A brandy and soda is a fairly frequently ordered drink in the Bond novels.

Later, in From A View To A Kill, Bond is sitting outdoors at a French café pondering his libation options, lamenting that outdoors on pavement is not a place for serious liquor like vodka, whisky or gin. He considers other options, including the fine a l’eau.

A fine a l’eau is fairly serious, but it intoxicates without tasting very good.

Makes you wonder why he ordered the drink for Mathis if this was his opinion of it.

3 Replies to “Fine à l’eau”

  1. A very popular expression in Paris in the 1950s, which we Americans learned and thought we were very sophisticated.

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