SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

WRITTEN BY TOM HYATT

If I were to say to you “Shaken, not stirred”, I am confident the majority of you would be able to identify James Bond’s infamous line about his favourite drink, the Martini. How much more do you know about this suave cocktail?  

A little known fact is that 007’s very first Martini was actually the ‘Vesper’ – a simple twist on the iconic classic. It uses gin, Kina Lillet instead of dry vermouth, a little vodka and a twist of lemon. Nowadays you would need to swap the no longer produced Kina Lillet for Lillet Blanc, an adequate substitute. The resulting taste is something of pure sophistication. 

A Dirty Martini

The history of the Martini has been somewhat lost to time. We know its birth occurred sometime in the mid-1800s, the rest, as they say, is open to interpretation. One of the most far-fetched theories as to the origin of this exquisite drink, and my personal favourite, involves the Californian gold-rush of the 1860s, a town called Martinez, a celebrating prospector and a bar with only a handful of ingredients. 

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many variations of Martini sprung up, creating a new breed of drink and indeed drinker. As the years passed, more and more adaptations of this classic cocktail began to surface, allowing bartenders to add their flair and imagination. One thing that most agree on is that it should be served cold, straight-up, and in a chilled V-shaped glass! 

How you like your Martini says a lot about your character, so whether you prefer your Martini shaken or stirred, dirty or classic, with olives or simply a twist of lemon - there’s a Martini out there ready to embrace whoever you find yourself to be at that moment in time.

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