Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Our annual holiday greeting:

Aaron Sorkin and James Bond

Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin

We’re not 100 percent sure, but we’d be willing to bet that Oscar and Emmy-winning writer and producer Aaron Sorkin is a James Bond fan.

This previous Sunday’s episode of The Newsroom concluded with the Atlantis World Media CEO Leona Lansing (Jane Fonda) waxing quite rhapsodic over a certain Mr. Daniel Craig. She had just spent $1,000 to see Skyfall and meet the current 007 actor (the reference is based ON A REAL-LIFE EVENT), when she was called away for a crisis at the titular news organization. She’s not entirely happy about it, as you can see in this pretty funny clip:

This isn’t the first time Sorkin has referenced Her Majesty’s Blunt Instrument on one of his shows. Back when The West Wing was on, and DVD players were still a high-end luxury item, presidential aide Charlie Young (Dulé Hill) has to save up to get the machine he’s been lusting after. And for good reason: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is available for purchase! President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen), however, is unimpressed with James Bond’s drinking habits, as ye shall see:

While we may disagree with Mr. Bartlett’s opinion in this matter, we’re always happy to see James Bond references in popular culture. And we’re especially pleased to find them in the works of this brilliant showrunner. Thanks, Mr. Sorkin!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Our annual holiday greeting:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Ian Fleming gets a named martini at Dukes London Bar

Dukes London Bar

The cocktail bar at Dukes London in the city’s St. James’s neighborhood recently joined in partnership with London-based fragrance maker Floris to introduce the Fleming ’89, a new martini crafted in honor of the author Ian Fleming – who, like his character, James Bond, knew a thing or two about martinis. A famously frequent patron, Fleming wrote chunks of his first novel, Casino Royaleat Dukes, and is said to have dreamed up the famous “shaken not stirred” line — as well as Bond’s classic Vesper Martini — in the renowned saloon.

He was also a frequent visitor at Floris, where his fragrance of choice was No. 89, named after the number of the shop on Jermyn Street.

Alessandro Palazzi

The new Fleming ’89 was created by Dukes Bar Manager Alessandro Palazzi, who was inspired by the ingredients written in the original 1951 Floris formula book for the No. 89 fragrance. After plenty of experimentation, Palazzi arrived at the final creation, which combines vodka infused with Tonka beans*, chocolate bitters, Dukes’ specially-made English Amber Vermouth, Stolichnaya ELIT vodka and rose liqueur.

The Fleming ’89 will run you £18.95 (about $21.75), and is only available at Dukes London Bar.  For more information, call + 800-381-4702 or visit their website.

Tell 'em HMSS sent ya!

* Sounds weird, we know. However, see this article in the Atlantic for an education as to this magical ingredient.

Diamonds Are Forever House for Sale

James Bond fans who might happen to have $14 million burning a hole in their pocket might be interested in the fact that Willard Whyte’s Palm Springs pied-à-terre is for sale. Known as The Elrod House, it was commissioned by the famous designer Arthur Elrod in 1968, but is more commonly known as the place where Sean Connery’s 007 got his butt kicked by Bambi and Thumper in the 1971 Bond caper Diamonds Are Forever.

The Elrod House

The 8,901-square-foot joint sits on 6 1/2 acres, which works out to $1,560 per square foot, and close to $2.2 million per acre — not bad for California real estate! You can get all the specs and info on the house’s Redfin listing. It’s been listed since November of 2009, so make your best offer!


(It also comes with a pool.)

It’s Dr. No on the radio!

The BBC iPlayer


This past Saturday, 6 August, the British Broadcasting Company reran a 2008 audio dramatization of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Dr. No.

Directed by Martin Jarvis (who also provides the “voice of Ian Fleming,”) and written by by Hugh Whitmore, the production stars erstwhile Bond villain Toby Stephens as 007 and David Suchet as the titular bad ol’ doctor.

Thanks to the miracle of the interwebs, those of us not lucky enough to live on the Sceptered Isle can take a listen through our computing machines — even those made by Apple. So, set aside an hour-and-a-half and get yourself over to BBC Radio 4 Saturday Play: Dr. No

But hurry, it’ll only be available until next Saturday, the 13th, at 4:02 PM GMT. (Why the extra two minutes, we’re not sure. It might have something to do with Lucas electrical systems.) Tell’ em HMSS sent ya!