Shaken or Stirred? How to Mix a Martini like 007
In celebration of the newest Bond release, No Time to Die, we’re taking a closer look at the history of the Martini and diving into creating the perfect 007 cocktail, while answering the question: shaken or stirred?
The historical roots of the Martini are unknown, however, it’s generally accepted that it was an evolution of the Martinez, a drink which dates back as far as 1884, and itself is an adaption of the Manhattan which was made with whisky rather than gin. Made up of vermouth, gin, sugar syrup and angostura bitters, the Martinez isn’t too far from the classic martini we know today, but due to the time period, it’s more likely that dutch Genever would have been used, which is closer in taste to whisky than London dry style gins.
Typically, the Martini is always stirred, a method that cools the liquid but provides the least amount of dilution while creating a silky mouth-feel. Shaking will give you a colder drink but will water down the spirits, although it is argued that when mixed with skill, a blindfolded taste tester shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a shaken or stirred martini. Typically, drinks that require shaking are those that include dairy products, fruit juices and egg whites, as these ingredients need binding together to produce a consistent drink, sip after sip.
The trend to shake a Martini is very much down to Bond’s author, Ian Fleming, who invented the Vesper Martini in his novel ‘Casino Royale’, which was first published in 1952. “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. Got it?” Bond strictly demands over the bar, much to the disappointment of Martini purists. We believe that if you want to drink like a secret agent, then shaking isn’t the end of the world, but whether you’re making a Vesper or Classic Martini we’ve pulled together a few top tips to help you mix up the perfect tipple every time:
- Either chill down your glass using ice and water or place your glass in the freezer.
- When shaking a Vesper Martini, use plenty of ice in your cocktail shaker to avoid too much dilution, and when stirring a Classic Martini, do the same in your mixing glass.
- Add some zest by either rimming the glass with lime, or squeeze the peel over the finished drink to release the oils for a wonderful aroma.
Head to our cocktail page for recipes for the Vesper and Classic Martini, and be sure to share your secret agent sips with us on social media using #mermaidsightings. May your Martinis always be dry!