back to article Dry martini, shaken not stirred: Cracking the physics of Bond's martini

"A distressingly large amount of rubbish is talked about cocktails," Noel Jackson, top boffin at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, tells The Reg. You know, that's not half bad. I'm going to have to think up a name for that Jackson, a Cambridge-University-educated chemist, has all the straight-up science on …


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  1. EddieD

    Churchill's recipe

    Shake the cork from the vermouth over a glass of gin.


    No fuss, no bother, no taste buds left.

    1. FanMan

      Re: Churchill's recipe

      That's way too sweet. Call your barman pal in Singapore and ask him to hold a vermouth bottle up to the phone.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Churchill's recipe

      I thought Churchill said something like you should pour your gin, then open the vermouth and bow towards France. At which point it's ready to drink.

      My brother even times the shaking of the cocktail. Shake a few seconds too long, and your drink gets too watered down, so you want the maximum amount of chilling, for the minimum amount of water. Myself I don't really get Martini. I'd rather have a decent scotch (Balvenie at the moment), and if you bring ice anywhere near that it's Glasgow kisses all round.

  2. FanMan
    Thumb Down

    Scientists is it

    It was them jokers that came up with the Chorleywood process which gave us poor benighted Brits the sh**tiest bread on the planet. Keep them away from our hooch!

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Oh, you, silly

    It's not the liquid that is said to be getting bruised - it's the ice!

    When a cocktail is shaken the ice crumbles, so the higher contact surface means more ice melts into the drink and it becomes more dilute. You can try it yourself and you will easily taste the difference.

    Mythbusters have tested it (and unlike some of their tests this one was convincing) and also confirmed it to be the case.

    P.S. Proper Martini must be made with gin. Vodka is for those lacking taste and drinking just to get plastered. Vodka must be drunk in a particular way with particular food, both are unknown in the West :-)

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh, you, silly

      "Vodka must be drunk in a particular way " = neat. You don't mix good vodka

      1. Isendel Steel

        Re: Oh, you, silly

        And a decent "proof"/vol from the freezer

        ("red" gives you ice chips "blue / black" a nice syrupy consistency)

      2. Marshalltown

        Re: Oh, you, silly

        My one visit to Ukraine informed me that in Slavic countries, bottles are not made to be opened and then closed once more. Open a bottle, empty a bottle was the rule.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, you, silly

      "Vodka is for those lacking taste and drinking just to get plastered." coming from someone with a Russian-sounding name? All my stereotypes are breaking!

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Do you expect me to drink this?

    No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die...

  5. bitmap animal

    Shaken vs Stirred

    There is quite a difference in how the drink finishes whether you shake or stir it. When stirred the drink is perfectly clear, when shaken it has a sparkle to it caused, I understand, by tiny fragments of ice. Some of the high end cocktail bars I've been to prefer stirring – I usually ask for it how it comes and watch them make it. There probably is a difference in taste, but I'd say they are just a little different to each other.

    Quinnine is available as a poweder that can be added to try and recreate the trueVesper. Not tried this personally.

    I don't recommend you use the Martini brand, Dolin or Noilly Prat are readily available and are superb, costing very little more and as you use so little cost is not that important.

    My recipie is to take a large 350ml martini glass and fill it with ice and leave to stand for a minute. Put three shots of spirit** in the shaker, add ¼ – ½ shot vermouth then pour in the ice from the glass. Put the lid on and shake like buggery until the shaker is ice cold a frosted. Carefully strain into the glass. Take 1” of thin lemon peel, twist over the glass and drop it in.

    Enjoy and repeat until the world is too blurry to make another one.

    ** Gordons is great, as it Tanquary Ten. Some people like Plymoth, it's a bolder flavour.

    1. EddieD

      Re: Shaken vs Stirred

      The Botanist (Islay Gin :) has blown away every other gin for me. The problem is, it has such a good flavour it's a shame to mix it with anything.

    2. FartingHippo

      @bitmap animal

      You had me until "Gordons is great". No, no, no, no, no. It is Budweiser* to other gins' real ale. Plymouth, or the wonderful Sipsmiths for me.

      *The American one, or Buttwiper, as it should be known. How on earth can you remove so much flavour from a beer?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @bitmap animal

        Sipsmith, Tanqueray T10, Bombay Sapphire. Gordon's is acceptable, it's better than Beefeaters.


        1. bitmap animal

          Re: @bitmap animal

          In hindsight, "Gordon's is great" wasn't the best way of putting it. It's not a top gin but is usually underrated as "just Gordon's" but is better than that especially given the special offers at supermarkets. Bombay Sapphire is one that I think is overrated.

          I've not tried the Sipsmith gin, I've had their vodka and that was OK but will get some of their gin to try shortly.

          1. Gordon 10
            Thumb Up

            Re: @bitmap animal

            Sipsmiths or Hendricks for me - although I could see Hendricks not working so well mixed - but never had it like that....

        2. bitmap animal
          Thumb Up

          Re: @bitmap animal

          I bought a bottle of Sipsmith gin yesterday.

          3 shots Sipsmith, 1 shot Chase vodka, 1/2 shot Noilly Prat shaken to death with ice into a chilled Martini glass with a lemon twist. Marvellous.

          Thanks for the suggestion, what a fantastic drink it makes, great flavours. Not tried it as a G&T yet, that'll be tonight probably.

      2. Trokair 1

        Re: @bitmap animal

        @ FartingHippo "The American one, or Buttwiper, as it should be known. How on earth can you remove so much flavour from a beer?"

        You remove grain and add sugar. Same alchohol content, less taste. Cost cutting has been making it even worse by In Bev. Luckily there has been a craft beer explosion recently in America because people actually got fed up with that garbage and started looking for something with taste. Me? I brew my own so I don't have to worry either way. Cheers!

      3. Marshalltown
        Thumb Up

        Re: @bitmap animal

        There's a song that has a refrain: "put that Budweiser back in the Clydesdale." I've always thought it appropriate, but then I live on the west coast and there are some very fine ales and first class hops produced.

        For the hard stuff I prefer a single malt scotch, neat.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Shaken vs Stirred

      Hendricks for a G+T, but never in a martini, it's just too 'soft' in flavour. I'd personally recommend 6 O'Clock gin (if you can find it), and the following method - 3 parts gin to 1/4 part vermouth (lillet blanc if you can get it, otherwise noilly prat). Chill the glass with ice and water, pouring this out immediately before pouring the martini in. Pre-chill the shaker in the freezer (which is why it important to use a steel shaker, never plastic), add fresh ice to the shaker, and add the gin/vermouth. Swirl until cooled throughout and serve with either a twist of lemon peel or green cocktail olives to taste... Repeat, rinse, fall over...

  6. Piro Silver badge

    Haven't watched the Daniel Craig bond films

    But I did see a clip where Daniel Craig said "Do I look like I give a damn?" to the question about his drink - mentioned in this article too - and that made me wonder what went wrong in the world of Bond. He needs to ooze class..

    1. Wize

      Re: Haven't watched the Daniel Craig bond films

      He was having a bad day at the time and was pondering getting shitfaced.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For me... has to be Sapphire over Gordon's any day...

  8. Manolo

    So much nonsense

    " Ice is also vital for one other factor: melting water produces the infusion of unattached H2O that snips open the esters."

    What do you think is the other 60% in a drink that is 40% alcohol? Yes, indeed, mostly water. Oh, I see, that water is already "attached", so not available for interaction with esters. Attached to what exactly? This is probably related to the next bit of bullshit:

    "there may anyway be perceptible differences between apparently identical alcohol/water solutions, which can nonetheless be different one from another in the way the water arranges itself molecularly around the alcohol"

    Scientists that state that probably also believe in homoeopathy. Homoeopathy is also supposedly all about ordering water.

    "neat or almost-neat spirits are hard to drink at room temperature and chilling keeps the alcohol cold until it hits your esophagus, where it starts to evaporate, making it easier to drink."

    And exactly how much alcohol will evaporate in the half second the drink is in my oesophagus and has not even assumed body temperature yet, coming from a few degrees above zero? And how will that make it easier to drink? Will it start to bubble? Form a froth?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: So much nonsense

      "there may anyway be perceptible differences between apparently identical alcohol/water solutions, which can nonetheless be different one from another in the way the water arranges itself molecularly around the alcohol"

      Scientists that state that probably also believe in homoeopathy. Homoeopathy is also supposedly all about ordering water.


      Not quite true - Homeopathy is about water retaining that shape after the contaminant has been removed.

      This is about the way molecules arrange themselves around a contaminant that was (at some point) introduced, and remains in the liquid.

      Personally I'd have thought that and differences in packing (which there could well be) wouldn't be thermally stable.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: So much nonsense

        Water does arrange itself around solute. Water molecules are dipoles and that also partly explains why water is such a good solvent. However, the thing is that it will always arrange itself in the same way around the same solute - so any possible taste differences due to that are pure fiction.

      2. Dr Dan Holdsworth

        Re: So much nonsense

        No all nonsense; alcohol-water mixtures do things which a simple mixture will not do. For a start, mixing water and alcohol actually gets the mixture slightly warm, and the volume shrinks slightly as the alcohol forces the water molecules to reduce the amount of hydrogen bonding they exhibit, and form a denser liquid. This may be important for flavour, especially around and just below zero celcius (adding an alcohol to water depresses the freezing point); water is densest at four celcius and as it cools below this starts to become more ordered, more crystaline and less dense whilst still being a liquid.

        Ice crystals form differently in even weak solutions of alcohol in water than they do in pure water; when preparing an aqueous sample for freeze drying, the normal procedure was to add some alcohol to it (about 5% or thereabouts) then leave it overnight in the -80 freezer. Try that with pure water, and you have a broken glass bottle next morning. Use alcohol, and the crystal structure changes, and the mix freezes differently and doesn't break the bottle.

        Another thing that adding an alcohol to water does is it forces any dissolved gas in the water and in the alcohol to come out of solution. When you are (as I was) mixing alcohol-water solutions for use in HPLC chromatographs, you want the solvent to be as gas-free as possible, or you'll see gas bubbles forming as the separated chemicals come off the column and exit through the absorbance meter. This causes annoying spikes in the output trace, completely ruining the results, so I always used to degas my solvents before use; I doubt a bar would do this, so gasses and volatiles being forced out of solution by the addition of water from ice in a cocktail might well alter the flavour significantly.

        Finally, it is wise to remember just what drinking a cocktail actually entails. What you're doing when you take a sip of the liquid is introducing a mixture of water, alcohols and organic compounds that is currently at about zero celcius to an environment with quite a bit of water in it (saliva and so on) which is at thirty seven celcius. This will rapidly warm the cocktail liquid up, changing the molecular arrangement of water and alcohol molecules and causing a lot of the organics to rapidly boil off. The dilution of the mixture in saliva will make the mix a much less good solvent for hydrophobic organic molecules such as fruit oils and so on, which will come out of solution and either sit there as oils or boil off.

        The primary sensing system that contributes to our sense of taste is not actually water-phase tasting at all, but gas-phase smell in our noses. So, the amount of volatiles that vapourise when a cocktail is sipped determine a lot of the flavour we perceive; in turn this is determined by the temperature, alcohol concentration and initial strength of the cocktail as a solvent. pH also plays a part; if the flavoursome molecules are weak organic acids or bases, then if the cocktail is more or less neutral pH then these will exist in solution in both the associated molecular state and the dissassociated state. In chromatography this sort of state causes band-spreading so the pH is normally modified with an acid such as a weak solution of phosphoric acid, or an ionisation supressor like trifluoroacetic acid or similar mixtures.

        If the person's mouth is a different pH to the cocktail, this will obviously also affect the flavour.

    2. Chemist

      Re: So much nonsense

      I'm rather inclined to agree with you about the water already in there. There *may* be some shift in the ester <-> acid equilibrium as more water is added but I drink so fast I'd never notice esp. at ice temperatures.

      The 'ordered water' does sound like nonesense.

    3. Psyx

      Re: So much nonsense

      "Scientists that state that probably also believe in homoeopathy. Homoeopathy is also supposedly all about ordering water."

      Don't be so dismissive. Water is far more complicated than you think it is:

      There are more than a dozen molecularly differing types of ice, too.

      "And exactly how much alcohol will evaporate in the half second the drink is in my oesophagus and has not even assumed body temperature yet, coming from a few degrees above zero? And how will that make it easier to drink?

      Enough to taste the difference. You could always TEST it by trying it, rather than deriding it. Any vodka drinker will tell you that it tastes far smoother straight from the freezer. Ice always makes harsh spirits smoother-tasting.

      In short, you've just shot your mouth off about something that you're not an expert about, based on an overly-simplistic view of chemistry. Just MAYBE the professional bartender and physics professional know more than you about this. Christ: You clearly haven't even necked ice-cold vodka on a regular basis and you're off on one!

      1. BoldMan

        Re: So much nonsense

        Well part of the reason for that is that the cold numbs your taste buds so you can't taste most of it.

        Try this experiment: Take two cans of Red Bull. Chill one and leave the other at room temperature.

        Take a drink from the chilled one. Take a drink from the room temperature one... once you've finished grimacing, note the complete difference in taste experience.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: So much nonsense


          An interesting theory. Unfortunately, your taste buds aren't what does the tasting of a martini (red bull, which is mostly sugar is another matter). The volatile organic compounds are 'tasted' by the smell receptors in your nasal cavity. In the case of a martini, the chilling prevents these from evaporating before they get to your mouth. Limiting the amount of water, by keeping the mixture below zero centrigrade (which also slows doen the kinetics of the reactions) is what prevents them from being broken down in the mixing stage.

      2. Manolo

        Re: So much nonsense

        "Enough to taste the difference. You could always TEST it by trying it, rather than deriding it. Any vodka drinker will tell you that it tastes far smoother straight from the freezer. Ice always makes harsh spirits smoother-tasting. "

        Read again. Where am I saying there is no difference? I am just disagreeing with the offered explanation for the difference. As a pharmacist, I actually do have knowledge of both (physical) chemistry and physiology.

        And assuming I don't drink without even knowing the first thing about it is just preposterous.

        1. JimC

          Did you read? [was Re: So much nonsense

          Did you actually read the linked article about the ~*strictly temporary and dynamic* structures within ethanol/water solutions?

          I didn' find it unfeasible, and its certainly a country mile away from the magic memory favoured by homeopathy. I am sort of suprised I haven't seen the aqua pura /calcium carbonate vendors quoting the study though.

          1. Manolo

            Re: Did you read? [was So much nonsense

            And how is this going to influence taste, when taste is mostly the interaction of volatile organic compounds (not being ethanol) with protein receptors embedded in a lipid membrane in the nasal cavities?

            What does that have to do with how water is ordered around ethanol in a glass?

            1. JimC

              Re: Did you read? [was So much nonsense

              So you still haven't read it?

              1. Manolo

                Re: Did you read? [was So much nonsense

                Yes, I read it. Low on science, high on speculation.

      3. Peter H. Coffin

        Re: So much nonsense

        It is true that tasting (and more generally perception) is the important thing. However, the parts that are bullshit are still bullshit even though they're trying to explain something noticed by tasting. It's as rational as saying "A wizard did it.". Complex hydrocarbons change back and forth between many things when you are dealing with factors such as two very different solvents (water, alcohol), one of which is right at the phase change point, and you're throwing different kinds of agitation into the picture, especially if you end up with even a little sugars into the mix, such as would be likely to ride in on a barreled spirit, a vermouth, etc.

  9. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Sod that

    Anyone for a beer?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    May I be the first to say how little I want a lillet in my drink, used or otherwise.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Lillet

      How else do you make a bloody mary?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. FartingHippo

        Re: Lillet

        It seems you're suggesting making a bloody mary from, well, a bloody Mary.


  11. 100113.1537


    Shaking vs stirring completely alters the flavour due to increased oxidation. Think about decanting red wine (or letting it breath after opening) and you can understand this effect. At the end of the day it is all personal preference - but the flavours are very different.

  12. Tim Worstal

    On Martinis

    There's a whole spectrum of drinks that follow the basic Martini recipe. Hard booze plus vermouth of some sort. Rob Roy is scotch and sweet (ie, red vermouth), Manhattan is bourbon (or is it rye?) plus Red V, Gin and French is equal parts gin plus white vermouth (Queen Mum's favourite apparently) Gin and Italian and so on and on.

    My favourite is the Bentley (from the 20s). Two parts Calvados one part red (but French, best is Dubonnet) vermouth, shaken not stirred, lemon zest twisted over it (and ir should be run around the rim of the glass too).

    Has the most amazing aroma of the sweetest, juciest, apple your mind has ever imagined.

  13. Jon Double Nice


    Make martinis etc with GIN. Preferably with Oxley gin, and only vaguely muddled with ice. With a sealed bottle of vermouth in a cupboard nearby. I prefer a cocktail onion in mine.

    Incidentally, at the Fountain Bleu in Miami, they have a signature cocktail which is basically a martini (gin) with three olives stuffed with blue cheese. Absolutely fantastic!

    Can we have a martini glass icon please?

    1. The last doughnut


      I'm surprised they don't chuck half a dozen bacon rashers on top as well. And a pineapple ring.

  14. Julian Bond

    Damn, where to start

    1. All that macho bullshit about super dry martinis where the shaker is waved at the vermouth is just that, macho bullshit. If you want to drink frozen gin shooters, go ahead. Just don't call them Martinis.

    2. Yes, Gordon's is cheap rubbish, but Bombay Sapphire is moderately expensive rubbish. It's more like a flavoured vodka than a properly flavoured gin. That doesn't matter in a Gin and Tonic which is actually more about the quality of the tonic[1] than the gin.

    3. Martinis should be completely clear. That's the biggest reason for stirring not shaking, and for using quality clear ice.

    4. Dirty Martinis are an abomination. I'm all for the olive taste and tiny addition of salt but swamping all that effort to create elegant flavours in the gin and vermouth with sea water is just silly.

    5. One Martini is just right, two's too many and three's not enough. The other bit of related life wisdom, "count your martinis and punt".

    6. Match elegant gins (Miller's, Sacred, Adnams) with Noilly Prat. Match more aggressive gins (Beefeater 24, Tanquaray) with a more aggressive vermouth like Vya.

    My favourite. 60ml Gin, 10ml Vermouth, stirred in ice for 40 secs, served in a Martini glass from the freezer. Two briefly washed olives from a fresh jar of olives in brine on a cocktail stick. Current favourite gin, Sacred with Adnams a close second. As far as I can tell, all the London and UK boutique straight gins are excellent. Explore!

    What about the Vesper? Well Lillet Blanc is interesting. All that vodka will dilute the unpleasant taste of the Gordons. And the lemon probably goes well with the Lillet. So why not. But I'd be more interested in exploring the lillet-gin corner of (non-euclidian) mathematical martini space.

    [1] 1724 is the best tonic by some way with Fevertree an acceptable alternative. Avoid Schweppes and especially avoid tonic from a mixer dispensing gun.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Damn, where to start

      And there I was thinking it was about drinking something you liked the taste of, rather than bowing to some pretentious idiot's snobbery on 'right and wrong'.

      It's booze. Not holy sacrament.

    2. Psyx

      Re: Damn, where to start

      "5. One Martini is just right, two's too many and three's not enough. The other bit of related life wisdom, "count your martinis and punt"."

      Divers are of course familiar with Martini's Law:'s+law

      That is: Nitrogen Narcosis' effects can be roughly and jokingly compared to one Martini per 50' below 100'.

      My diving books don't however specify the type of gin used, or if one should skip the olive.

      1. B4PJS

        Re: Damn, where to start

        So basically what it is saying is that 4 Martinis are incapacitating...

        1. Andy Enderby 1

          Re: Damn, where to start

          You're clearly doing it wrong...... lightweight.

  15. DJO Silver badge

    My recipe for a Martini which seems to work and causes panic in the drinkers is this:

    Add lots of ice into the shaker, pour a fair gloop of vermouth in and shake like crazy until your hands are uncomfortably cold then strain it down the drain so the shaker now just has ice with a very thin coat of cold vermouth, then add the gin and shake a bit more then decant over a slice of lemon, drink, repeat a few times, fall over.

    1. Andy Enderby 1

      closer to thte concept of a pink gin..... Chuck a few dropes of Angostura bitters into a chilled glass, swill round in order to coat the glass, jettison the excess, add gin + desired garnish, enjoy...... Despite the name, actually a drink the fuelled many of the naval engineers of the Empire.....

  16. Mage Silver badge


    Ice in any drink is a modern abomination. Certainly for Whiskey, Whisky, beer or Wine.

    Maybe OK in vodka served with raw fish above the Arctic Circle?

    1. Wize

      Re: Ice?

      I'd rather not dilute my booze with the water from the ice. Stick the bottle in the fridge.

      Or, as they do in the very hot countries, keep your beer glass in the freezer. Watching the inside of the pint glass ice up with your cold beer on a very hot day is one of life's little pleasures.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Ice?

      >>Ice in any drink is a modern abomination. Certainly for Whiskey, Whisky, beer or Wine.

      You're very ignorant. Many whiskies are supposed to be diluted because they're sold at cask strength (50-60%). The single malt you buy at 40% has deliberately been diluted already. So enough of this nonsense that adding water is wrong. If anything, it gives you a whole new avenue of snobbery - which water should you use?!

      1. Psyx

        Re: Ice?

        He said ice was wrong, not water. Obviously a splash of water goes into any decent whisk[e]y!

        However, I totally disagree with the rubbishing of ice on the basis that it's a 'modern' invention. Most 'modern' mixed drinks are modern inventions, so why not use ice? And plenty of drinks are improved by serving over ice.

        or choke on an ice-cube.

        1. Wize

          Re: Ice?

          I remember one comedian (quite a funny one, but can't remember his name) having a look at the name of the gig's sponsor, and suggesting that they couldn't give that cider away to gypsies, it was so bad, but now everyone wanted it as its trendy to drink it with a ton of ice. Maybe it helps dilute the nasty taste. He also guessed that the sponsor won't be inviting him back next time.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Daggersedge

    Drink a gimlet instead

    Only in the manner mentioned in Chandler's The Long Goodbye, of course: half Rose's Lime Juice and half gin and nothing else. Beats a martini any time.

    1. Steve the Cynic

      Re: Drink a gimlet instead

      I'll go for that. 'Course, Rose's Lime Juice Cordial (to give it its full name) is a bit awkward (but not impossible) to find in France, but never mind that, I have a supplier.

      I've tried some variations on this theme, and I can say that replacing the lime cordial with pulp-free orange juice produced a weird and not entirely pleasant flavour, as if the flavours in the gin were fighting with the orange juice, in a way that they don't do with the lime. Odd. Maybe it was because of the specific gin I chose. I'm gradually working my way through the different brands available in Carrefour. Bombay Sapphire doesn't seem like a good choice for this drink, because it should be a pale yellow-green colour, and the Sapphire would make it rather blue...

    2. Trokair 1

      Re: Drink a gimlet instead

      Dear God Man! How do you drink that? I love a Gimlet myself but 50/50? You wouldn't have any taste buds left.

      I take my Gimlet with a few cubes of ice, Bombbay Sapphire, and just enough Rose's to slightly tint the contents of the glass yellow. Fantastic.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. alain williams Silver badge

    Much discussed over the last year

    on the back pages of New Scientist magasine - the last word

  21. Joe Harrison

    old chestnut

    How about we start up the "is frozen alcohol safe to drink" topic again?

  22. Mister_C

    Call me a peasant, but...

    "distillers manage to add flavour (and often a colossal price premium) to their products by such means as leaving them in variously-prepared wooden barrels for a few years"

    I prefer to serve my voddy after a long infusion of sloes. I'll be trying elderberries this year due to the (non cimate change related) poor potential harvest on my normal picking grounds

    1. Corinne
      Thumb Up

      Re: Call me a peasant, but...

      Try a bottle using Blackberries too - not to everyone's taste, but interesting

  23. Sgt_Oddball

    For a nice twist

    Replace the Gordons with Millars Gin, use pinky (rose pettle) vodka, wet the ice with the Lillet first and shake with a sliced stawberry, pour into a chilled martini glass and run the rim with a single blackcurrent. You'll be very pleasently suprised by the resulting twist on the vespa (though it does look abit girly I suppose)

  24. Colin Brett

    How do I get a job like this?

    Dear Noel Jackson,

    Are you looking for an apprentice? I have relevant credentials and I'm a Geordie to boot. Available for interview in any bar, so long as you get the first round in.


  25. ColonelClaw
    Thumb Up


    I can't recommend highly enough that London-based Reg readers go down to Dukes and try a Martini themselves. The Vespers I've had there are simply the finest cocktails I've ever drunk by an enormous margin. Also, make sure to ask Dukes bar manager Alessandro Palazzi to tell you the Vesper story as he makes it - don't worry, he loves telling it. And also insist on the accompanying bar snacks, which include the utterly fantastic Cerignola olives.

    Trust me, you will not be disappointed

  26. Daedalus

    Chemists you ain't

    And the same applies to many commenters...

    Esters and terpenes are large classes of compounds with many different properties. Esters form from carboxylic acids (including but not limited to acetic, butyric, formic etc.) and alcohols (or glycols). Terpenes are indeed hydrocarbons, all built from a basic unit consisting of a short chain of carbon atoms. Both esters and terpenes can be aromatic, pleasant or bitter according to their structure. Fats and vegetable oils are esters of fatty acids and glycerol (glycerin to you). Terpenes go by names like "geraniol". Guess where that comes from.

    It takes a lot of help to break down esters. Heat and lye are needed to break down fats to make soap. Heat and acid can break down other esters like the banana-smelling ethyl acetate. Ice and water don't do squat.

    1. Colin Brett

      Re: Chemists you ain't

      "Esters form from carboxylic acids (including but not limited to acetic, butyric, formic etc.) and alcohols (or glycols)."

      Should that not read

      "Esters form from carboxylic acids (including but not limited to ethanoic, butanoic, methanoic etc.) and alcohols (or glycols)."


      PS: I once had a very detailed discussion - in a pub, of course - that water should get the drinker twice as drunk as ethanol. After all, the difference between ethane (which just burns) and ethanol is a single OH group. The difference between water and ethanol is the C2H5 ethyle group. Essentially, water has two OH groups, instead of just one, so why doesn't it get you twice as drunk?

      Beer icon, of course, because it was beer that led to the discussion in the first place!

  27. Bif

    Spud juice

    I read somewhere that in Fleming's time most of the vodka available in the west was made from potatoes rather than grain, and was a little greasy. Shaking stuck the contaminants to the inside of the shaker.

    The best quote about martinis has to be Dorothy Parker:

    I like to have a martini,

    two at the very most.

    Three and I'm under the table,

    four and I'm under the host.

  28. WillGalen

    Three essentials of the Vesper as fictionally written are shaken with gin, mixed with Lillet, and served in a champagne glass. Shaking the gin vigorously makes tiny bubbles (really), Lillet turns it the color of champagne and the champagne flute completes the masquerade. A drop of bitters restores the taste lost in modern versions of the makings. Bond remarks that next time it would be better with a grain vodka.

  29. Felix Krull

    <i>He had moved in Bond's supposed milieu while drinking at Dukes and mixing quietly with the elite of Westminster and Whitehall during WWII. Fleming wanted to show that his hero - an intelligence officer - not only mixed with the big boys but drank like them too: hence a martini, and certainly gin in that crowd at that time. </i>

    Toffs drank Scotch. A Martini is an American concoction and Fleming wanted to impress on the reader that Bond was a prole.

  30. Slabfondler
    Paris Hilton

    This is why...

    I love El Reg.

    Paris, 'cause she's all about the love baby!

  31. Nuke

    Is Bond ever shaken?

    I always thought that "Shaken and not stirred" was uncharacteristic of Bond. He is meant to be the very opposite - stirred into action, but never shaken by it.

    The worst that ever happened to him during the Connery/Moore years was that he needed to adjust his bow tie after knocking out a dozen baddies.

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