Whether you’re a James Bond fan or not, you will probably still know that his drink of choice is the infamous Dry Martini, shaken and not stirred. Although he might sound a little bit picky, but if 007 chooses shaken over stirred then there must be a difference. Well, there is…
“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”
“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.”
~ Casino Royale
Just like a Manhattan or an old fashion, a Martini in general is a simple drink to make: dry vermouth, gin (traditionally) or vodka (modern), and an olive as garnish. Being admired by a famous super spy it is now the ultimate sophistication. If there’s one thing the average person knows about James Bond, it’s his preference of martini: shaken, not stirred. But, why? What are the differences, if any?
Both shaking and stirring a drink with ice to both chill and dilute the drink. Both techniques are equally effective, but shaking is much faster. Bartenders generally do not stir long enough to reach the matching temperature and dilution. This leads us to assume that with 007 was in a hurry or preferred weaker drinks. 🙂
It has even been said that shaking gin “bruises” the gin (giving it a slight bitter taste). Prior to the 1960s, vodka was, for the most part, refined from potatoes (usually cheaper brands). This element made the vodka oily. Shaking is also said to dissolve the vermouth better, making it less oily tasting.
Like a glass of white wine, it’s easy to over-chill a martini by shaking it, and the primary result of a too-cold martini is that it becomes much more thin and tasteless. Not only this, but shaking introduces more water into the drink via melted ice. So shake with care. A stirred martini will be a bit stronger, and thus more flavourful. All in all: A stirred martini is indeed more interesting and flavourful than a shaken one.
But hey, if James Bond the ultimate swag Spy orders his martini shaken and not stirred, then who are we to question his choice? If society is stirring their martinis then of course James Bond would want his shaken, because thats what bad boys do. Cheers!