CAUSING A STIR
Never mind how 007 likes it – what’s really the best way?
Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t James Bond’s pickiness that brought prominence to the shaken martini. Ian Fleming was very likely influenced by cocktail legend Harry Craddock, who penned the famous
The SavoyCocktailBook in 1930 in which all martini recipes were to be shaken. Such martinis actually have a name – the Bradford. It first appeared in Harry Johnson’s 1900 edition of his Bartender’s Manual.
And yes, there is a difference. Shaken martinis are chilled much more quickly, and all that movement in the shaker introduces a lot of air into the drink. The resultant martini will be colder, a little more diluted and have a thinner texture. Some will see this version as more approachable.
But many modern bartenders prefer to stir because they have greater control over the dilution of the ice, the flavours are layered and the texture is silky. The following is often attributed to playwright Somerset Maugham: “A martini should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously on top of another.”
The bottom line is that either method is fine, as it depends on the drinker’s inclination. And it’s not going to make a difference beyond the first few sips anyway, because the disparity will be negligible once the drink sits for a while.