Foreign Intelligence Agent Guide to Drinking

There seems to be a minor hullabaloo over 007 ditching the vodka martini for Heineken in the upcoming James Bond movie, Skyfall. Apparently, this product placement deal/sellout is worth $45 million. Do I care?

Heineken tastes OK when it’s not skunked (as it frequently is). And, quite frankly, I think vodka martinis are awful. So, I remain unperturbed.

It did get me thinking, however: What is the beverage of choice for other foreign intelligence service agents, and what beer would they sell-out for in a promotional tie-in? Mind you, if 007 has taught us anything, it’s that there is no need for subterfuge in your drink choice. Hell, Bond usually waltzes right up in a tux, with some conspicuously double-crossing and double-entendre-named hottie. Further, Bond’s nemesis always knows who Bond is, and is usually content to either (1) engage 007 in an overly-complicated game of chance, or (2) passively lure him into a fatally-flawed Rube Goldberg death trap.

This game was apparently pre-Konami Code.

The Mossad:
Israel’s intelligence service is well-known. They probably also have the lowest travel expenses of all major intelligence agencies, as Israel seems to have taken the “keep your enemies closer” maxim a little too seriously.

Current drink of choice:
Manischevetini (I am not joking. This recipe exists on several Jewish-friendly websites)
2 oz. of Vodka
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Manischewitz
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake well (don’t stir); serve. Garnish with an orange twist if desired.

Sell-out beer tie-in:
He’Brew Genesis Dry-Hopped Session Ale by Shmaltz Brewering. Duh.

Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI):
Pakistan’s premier intel agency is widely regarded as impressive. But the ISI may be best known in the U.S. for their, shall we say, cordial relations with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Now, I am not entirely clear on the liquor laws in Pakistan. My understanding is that Muslims are not allowed to buy alcohol, but non-Muslims can. So, we may need to specify public vs. private drinks for ISI agents.

Current drink of choice:
Publicly, a Shirley Temple. But in private:
The Taliban
1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
1 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Vodka
Warm the glass, then light it on fire (the beerbecue legal department says to blow it out before you drink it).

Sell-out beer tie-in:
Publicly: O’Doul’s. Privately: Osama Bin Lager, hidden of course, in a brown paper bag (a Beer Burqa, if you will).

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service:
Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedk (SVR) is the world’s least pronounceable spook agency and the esteemed successor of the KGB. Also, they (and their domestic counterpart, the FSB) apparently have something against journalists. SVR and FSB have made “Russian journalist” such a deadly job that it could warrant a Discovery Channel show.

Current drink of choice:
Either the Moscow Mule, or in a nod to their predecessor agency…
1/2 oz. Kummel caraway liqueur
1 1/2 oz. Gin
1/4 tsp. Apricot Brandy
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1 twist lemon peel
Shake (don’t stir) all ingredients (except lemon peel) with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the twist of lemon peel and serve.

Sell-out beer tie-in:
North Coast Brewery Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.

Now, I have a couple ideas for the CIA’s beer tie-in; but because I have long passed my word limit, and I am a lazy a-hole, I put it to you, dear readers: What is the CIA’s current drink of choice and/or their sell-out beer tie-in?


9 thoughts on “Foreign Intelligence Agent Guide to Drinking

  1. The product placement should have gone to Dos Equis. That way 007 could have dropped a line like, “Well, I don’t always drink beer….” thus making a case that in fact 007 is “The Most Interesting Man in the World”. Which seems to make sense to me.

    As far as your request, I’m still trying to figure out what the Culinary Institute of America has to do with Foreign Intelligence.

  2. I’m not much for mixed drinks and all, but I would imagine the CIA drink of choice would be called “Classified”, and the entire recipe has probably been redacted due to not wanting the terrorists to win, and even a Freedom of Information Act request would be denied due to the “Top Secret” nature of what the CIA uses to get drunk.

    The Sell-out Tie In drink I think is a no-brainer:
    Great Lakes Eliot Ness!

    • Nice. That’s a good one. I hadn’t thought of that, actually. I was thinking Brooklyn Black Ops or Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale.

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