Jul 06

Stop Getting Martinis Wrong Bond

FT + Pumpkin Publog12 comments • 4,027 views

Really Classy James Bond Martini KitSo Smirnoff is back then in Casino Royale. The grand-daddy of product placements (if you discount the cars wot fall apart in Keystone Cop shorts) has taken over from young buck Finlandia which Bond flirted with in Die Another Day*. But then he had an invisible car in that one!!!

Bond drank a Smirnoff Martini in Dr No, and is probably the reason why vodka martinis are more popular these days that the MUCH NICER GIN ones. Not only does he seem to prefer his martinis with a pretty bog standard voddie, he also has them shaken, not stirred. (You are now entering the use other facts part of the article which will be in italics. Skip it if you’ve heard this rant before).

Shaking a martini is wrongness gone wrong. A martini is a wallop of a drink, a solid punch of spirit with a slight tang of vermouth and maybe and olive to subtly flavour it. To work it has to be very, very cold. Hence the ice stage. But shakin’ ice is breakin’ ice, and ends up diluting the bugger. Here’s the science bit: you shake something, you heat it up – opposite to what you want. Fleming has the “shaken, not stirred” line in the book, and it has been suggested that this was another suggestion that Bond is out of step, a bit common maybe, a rebel. Not having a gin martini does it for me.

A lovely stirred Plymouth Gin Martini with a couple of olives makes me a very happy boy. Perhaps not while its too hot, and with an idea of slowing down soon in mind, but as cocktails go I don’t think you can beat the simplicity. And you do notice dilution, you do notice crappy spirits. You notice dirty martini glasses and you notice when it isn’t cold. So Bond, stop getting Martini’s wrong, and stop feathering Diagio’s pockets. 

*James Bond – “i luvs to drink Finlandia when driving on the ice in my invisible car”.Turncoat Brosnan drink Finnish Vodka. I'll finish his vodka.


  1. 1
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 25 Jul 2006 #

    we need a BAD BOND SCIENCE project i think

    (shorter project: ALL OF IT!)

  2. 2
    Ewan on 25 Jul 2006 #

    I tend to avoid olives as being not quite subtle enough, but the bottom line is that a martini is a drink almost entirely made of vodka or gin, so it’s very important to have a really good quality alcohol. Smirnoff is not. Bon’s taste in cocktails seriously lets him down.

  3. 3
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 25 Jul 2006 #

    are we talking about the film or the book? in one of the books he sprinkles pepper on his vodka to take the “fusel oil” to the bottom

  4. 4
    Pete Baran on 25 Jul 2006 #

    “Smirnoff – the genuine taste of fusel oil”.

    Yes, I definately think Bond’s martini habits is Fleming trying to say something ultra subtle like “Bond is a social climber. We will let him assasinate for us, but he will never be one of us”.

  5. 5
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 25 Jul 2006 #

    possibly but there is that story that sir anthony eden, under stress during suez, flew out to stay at GOLDENEYE for a respite, but after a week of the DREADUL FOOD and RATS IN THE RAFTERS, he returned home to westminster and had a total nervous breakdown

    haha “i may drink red wine with fish, but LOOKS WHO’S ON HIS KNEES!”

  6. 6
    Pete Baran on 25 Jul 2006 #

    Bond as Fleming autobiog (use other Connery’s pls)

  7. 7
    tracerhand on 25 Jul 2006 #

    Could also poss. have been a snark at Fleming’s most likely model for bond, Dusko Popov, aka Agent Tricycle, who Fleming apparently ham-handedly followed around London and Lisbon during WWII – and who delivered a withering put-down to said Fleming’s unstealthy methods (hypothesized by Lord Sukrat once as “cutting eyeholes in the day’s newspaper”) – of course once imagines Tricycle going with the even more downmarket bur racily American-made Popov

  8. 8
    Pete Baran on 24 Nov 2006 #

    I did not notice the smirnoff amongst the gazillion product placements in Casino Royale. Indeed when he orders/invents a Vesper Martini it is quite clearly a gin one.

  9. 9
    Tim on 24 Nov 2006 #


  10. 10
    Tim on 24 Nov 2006 #

    “Tricycle, you’re needed. Agent Hobbyhorse was on a very dangerous mission in the former Societ Union but hasn’t reported in. We sent Agent Pogo Stick after him but she has disappeared as well.”

  11. 11
    sophie on 14 Nov 2007 #

    actually i think you will find shaking does not heat up a martini or the spirit inside, it actually breaks down the vodka with the ice making it the perfect COLD temperature. thankyou.

  12. 12
    Pete Baran on 14 Nov 2007 #

    Shaking is more likely to break off small bits of ice, which then melt in the process (shaking embues energy, not heat, likely to melt small bits).

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