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.