Make It Monday: James Bond Was Wrong

James Bond was famous for ordering his martini with a "shaken, not stirred" command.

While this is fun to say, it is not how you make a proper martini. 

A martini is a sublime cocktail. It should be ice cold and crystal clear. A shimmering translucent beverage just waiting to take the edge off a hard day. The problem with the James Bond method is that when you shake the drink it turns cloudy. 

Simply put, shaking the drink puts air bubbles into suspension and turns the drink a silvery opaque rather than the desired crystal clear look. While the cloudiness will dissipate in short order, the first glance is much different using the shaking technique than the stirring technique.

I will admit that I also like the process of stirring rather better than shaking. It feels so much more sophisticated and accomplished. I have a mixing glass, a long handled mixing spoon, and a hawthorne strainer so that I can perform this ritual with casual aplomb. 


Here are a couple of classic cocktail recipes that need to be stirred, not shaken:

1. Martini

  1. Chill your glass by filling it with ice and then cold water. Let it stand until you are ready to pour the cocktail.
  2. Fill your mixing glass 2/3 of the way with ice.
  3. Add 3 oz of gin (...or vodka).
  4. Add 1/2 oz. of dry vermouth (...less or more if that suits your taste)
  5. Stir until very cold. 
  6. Empty your glass of the ice water and strain the cocktail into the chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with a lemon peel, or an olive. (I personally like cocktail onions as a garnish - but that is makes the drink a Gibson, for some unknown reason).

2. Manhattan

  1. Chill your glass by filling it with ice and then cold water. Let it stand until you are ready to pour the cocktail.
  2. Fill your mixing glass 2/3 of the way with ice.
  3. Add a few drops of bitters and stir to coat the ice.
  4. Add 3 oz of rye (...or bourbon).
  5. Add 1 oz. of sweet vermouth (...less or more if that suits your taste)
  6. Stir until very cold. 
  7. Empty your glass of the ice water and strain the cocktail into the chilled glass.
  8. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.
Michael Liss