Shaken or Stirred Martinis: What Is the Difference?

A chilled blend of vodka or gin with a hint of vermouth and an olive or a twist of lemon for garnish – yum! It just sounds delicious, but to shake or stir…that is the age old question; and what exactly is the difference?

“Shaken, not stirred” is, of course, the iconic phrase used by James Bond when ordering his favorite beverage. It may be because research indicates that shaking a martini breaks down the ingredients better, leaving it with more antioxidants. Antioxidants can help reduce the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, cataracts and more; and we all know that James Bond is quite the healthy specimen.

However, my James Bond theories are a little different. If you’re all about the chill factor, you should know that shaking and stirring martinis are equally effective drink making methods, although stirring takes longer. So martinis that are shaken and not stirred can result in a cold drink more quickly from your bartender, allowing James to get right to saving the world. Or, just maybe, Mr. Bond likes to shake things up because when you shake a martini and the ice quickly mixes with the alcohol, you get a weaker martini. So, my friends, he can keep his wits and save the day.

It is believed by some that a stirred martini can diminish its flavor, and by others that shaking bruises gin, causing a somewhat bitter taste. And then there is clarity to consider. Shaking creates air bubbles, making martinis cloudy.

And here are some fun facts to grease the proverbial wheels. Back in the day, cheaper vodkas were made from potatoes instead of grain, making them a bit oily. So shaking would help to disperse the oil. Shaking also dissolves vermouth better, so you end up with a less oily taste.

Whether you prefer shaken or stirred, you can get high quality ingredients for a martini or any other libations you might favor at Daytona’s liquor store of choice – Bengal’s Liquors.