Drinks

Martini Myths

There's a time to shake, and there's a time to stir
Photo: Tim Sackton via Flickr
Rob Roy

James Bond's classic order, a martini "shaken, not stirred," may sound sexy, but it's actually not correct. Certain drinks are meant for shaking, while others are meant for stirring—and martinis fall into the latter camp.

According to Wine Enthusiast, you should shake cocktails that contain citrus juice, eggs, cream or dairy. Think a margarita, pisco sour or this brandy milk punch.

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To shake, start with a cold shaker. Then either fill the glass halfway with ice before measuring out your liquid ingredients, or vice versa. Both ways work as long as you're measuring precisely. Make sure the lid is firmly in place before shaking for at least 15 seconds, cocktail shaker pointed away from your guests, Serious Eats suggests.

You stir cocktails containing carbonated liquids, for obvious reasons, or ones that are purely alcohol, like a Negroni or Bond's martini.

Stirring may sound like a no-brainer, but Serious Eats points out that there's more to it than you might think. The food website calls for a long bar spoon and a cold mixing glass. Gently stir your liquids for about 60 seconds; if your drink requires ice, throw that in the glass first. It all sounds pretty simple, but if even Bond didn't have it right, it's worth a review.

So the next time you mix a drink at home or order one out at a bar, you can act like the adult you are and choose shaken or stirred correctly. Or throw conventional wisdom to the wind and live dangerously by following in Bond's footsteps.

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