James freaking Bond; he said it, and we all live by it.
My whole concept of what’s cool comes from Bond, The Godfather and a bunch of other pop-culture influences. The questions should be asked: “Shaken or Stirred?”, “Is there a difference?”, “Was Bond just being a weirdo?” and “Do we just want to sound cool when we order a drink?” Of course we do. I know I do.
Times are changing, classic cocktails are making a resurgence in a big way. Dare I say it? Bond might be getting a little played out. How many bartenders have heard that infamous line repeated ad nauseam?
Indeed, shake mixing a martini is mostly a result of popular culture’s influence on us. Most seem to agree that stirring preserves the flavor of the gin and does not “bruise the spirit” by adding a lot of air to the drink as shaking does. Shaking, however, makes the drink colder, and cold tends to make flavor less intense, thereby reducing the harshness of the booze. The Straight Dope also mentions a difference in mouth feel. In short, for purists, a Martini (gin) should be stirred. Vodka might be better shaken for a colder and less harsh flavor. I have begun stirring my gin drinks, shaking my fruity drinks, and leaving vodka well enough alone.
In truth, James Bond drinks a lot, but tends to order a mix of vodka and gin, “large and very strong and very cold and very well-made.”
Speaking of something cool that’s very strong and very well-made, why not give my Hot and Filthy martini a try?
My Hot and Filthy Martini:
This drink should be served in a large martini glass and the hot and filthy garnish should look like an exotic salad or the garnish of an elaborate Bloody Mary. The goal here is to achieve a savory, spicy, yet very balanced flavor.
3 oz gin
3/4 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz olive brine (try substituting hot pepper or caper brine, or use a mix of all three)
Stir, strain, and garnish with 2 olives (garlic or jalapeño– stuffed), a caper berry, and a pickled hot pepper (the hotter the better)
To add a dirty James Bond twist, add or replace an ounce of gin with BLAVOD black vodka and a lemon twist. The result should be DIRTY. Let’s call this the Dirty Vesper or -if you like- The 00Dirty (double “O” dirty).