Shaken not Stirred is undoubtedly the most arguable James Bond catchphrase. Though Ian Fleming wrote it in 1956 for Dr. No in Diamonds are Forever, it wasn’t until 1964 when Sean Connery, the first James Bond, himself said it on screen.
Unlike many spin off elements in Bond movies (including my favourite Aston Martin), this martini has got many eyebrows raised. Decades on, it is still debatable that why on Earth would a guy with an impeccably mastered sense of drinks make such an elementary mistake?
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Why would you ruin your drink Mr. Bond?
If we look at the most famous spy of Hollywood having his eponymic Vesper martini, it holds many intriguing secrets. So, should we blame shaking a martini to its captivating impact or simply to a dialogue’s rhyming scheme?
Let’s bypass this, because logics and conventionalities often don’t go hand in hand!
All martini aficionados believe that it should be stirred. Originally, Vesper martini is prepared from dry gin, vodka and aromatized vermouth wine. It is poured over ice and stirred to give a clear appearance. Some mixologist and researchers have even studied martinis – the works.
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Contrary to the popular belief, what James Bond ordered was a simply incongruous way of preparing a martini. In fact, shaking is recommended only for a frothy and aerated drink such as margarita.
One theory suggests the most undesirable part of shaking a martini is that it dilutes the drink, melting the ice quite faster than during stirring and making the drink colder. We got its evidence from Casino Royale novel’s dialogue: “Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
The act of shaking bruises the alcohol thereby giving it a cloudier look. We doubt if James Bond would really prefer such a murkier and detracted drink!
However, researchers have found that shaking releases more oxidants in vermouth and if a shaken martini is taken in moderation, it keeps heart problems at bay. Partly, the credit of his sound health also goes to obedient bartenders.
Another theory is based on the potency level. Maybe, he wanted to reduce the influence of the drink. It sounds more convincing as this guy might have preferred his drink to appear stronger but otherwise lighter. The cocktail is certainly strong, it can make you fly. It’s better to be a discerning drinker and not to mistake an Aston Martin for a jet.
Well, just like the Bond movies, theories keep on coming and going, but the fascination continues. Let’s keep the logics apart and wait for the next instalment of the ever – captivating spy’s story.
Be it shaken or stirred, we like everything he sips on screen😊.