Nugget of Knowledge: James Bond’s signature drink

Ian Fleming gives the recipe for James Bond's signature drink in his book, "Casino Royale"

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – James Bond, agent 007 walks into the casino and before sitting down at the Baccarat table asks for a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.

Why shaken?

Let’s start by looking at Bond’s drink.

Ian Fleming gives the recipe in the first Bond book, “Casino Royale”: “A dry martini,” Bond said, in a deep champagne goblet.”

“A dry martini,” Bond said, in a deep champagne goblet.”

“Oui, monsieur.”

“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. Got it?”

A traditional martini (as opposed to a vodka martini) is made with gin, dry vermouth and either an olive or a lemon peel. That’s all. It’s stirred, not shaken.

A vodka martini substitutes vodka for the gin or adds it to the gin, as Bond does.

It’s very important that a vodka martini be cold. A vodka martini that is not ice-cold tastes like lighter fluid, so you have to shake them with ice.

A shaken martini is colder than one stirred, since the ice has had a chance to swish around the drink more. Shaking a martini dissolves air into the mix, giving it a sharper taste, and a shaken martini will more completely dissolve the vermouth, giving a less oily feel to the drink.

You can always tell the difference between a shaken and stirred martini, and the British Medical Journal once reported that shaken is better. It increases the antioxidant effects of alcohol.

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