CAUS­ING A STIR

Never mind how 007 likes it – what’s re­ally the best way?

The Peak (Singapore) - - The Peak Expert -

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.

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