Shaken vs Stirred: A Beginner's Guide To The Evergreen 'Martini Debate'
- Mehak Vohra
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
The war of the best kind of Martini is a tale as old as time. A simple cocktail with two-ingredient in a five is to one ratio can and has sparked much controversy. Right from the liquor to the kind of ice added nothing is off-topic for this long-standing debate.
“Just a drink, Martini. Shaken not stirred.”
Yes, this is the “James Bond” drink, we have all heard it but what really is Mr Bond’s take on the classic two-ingredient martini?
Gin or Vodka
A typical martini has always been and always will be; gin. Gin has many botanical flavours and has just a hint of sweetness, and it pairs exquisitely with the dry vermouth. Some though enjoy a vodka martini, it’s said to be bland but the neutral palette makes the drink smooth and classic.
And as we all know, Mr Bond camps for vodka as he orders “A Martini, vodka of course.” For him, there’s absolutely no debate.
Dry or wet
Yes, a martini can be dry or wet and all that depends on the dry vermouth. Dry vermouth is one of the two ingredients in a martini and one that can’t be skimped upon. It is a form a dry vine infused with different herbs and botanicals. If you want a dry martini, add less vermouth and add more for a wetter one. James Bond usually orders his on the drier side.
Shaken or Stirred
This is the bigger debate and unfortunately while Mr Bond prefers his shaken, the critics disagree. It is a rule of thumb that two alcoholic beverages should always be stirred. And here’s why.
When you shake the vodka and dry vermouth with ice, it introduces too much air to the cocktail and when drained and poured the martini becomes cloudy and tiny ice crystals stay afloat on top diluting the mixture as you sip it. A stirred martini, on the other hand, is bringing two spirits together much more gently and the liquid remains clear and free of ice.
Olives or Lemon wedge
You can add both, the lemon brings freshness and zest and the olive introduces a contradictory bitter flavour. But since this is 'the Bond drink', stick with just the lemon wedges. For a maximum flavour profile, rub the lemon against the rim of the martini glass (which should already be chilled in the fridge, and there’s no debate about the martini glass, no one serves it in margarita or collins glass) to extract some powerful aromatics.
Two and a half ounces of vodka and half an ounce of dry vermouth in the cocktail shaker with ice. In this order, shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass, rub a lemon wedge around the rim and then drop it in. And that’s the James Bond “Shaken not Stirred” Dry Vodka Martini.