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Hutch’s Happy Hour – Vodka Martini Recipe – The James Bond Way

 

This blog post has been a long time coming… When No Time To Die, the latest instalment in the James Bond franchise, was finally given what seemed to be a set in stone release date back in April; we thought what better way to get us in the mood than a post about the cocktail that’s become synonymous with the man himself… a Martini… shaken, not stirred!

Annoyingly, the movie was later postponed until October so we decided to switch up our schedule to account for the move. With the release date having been moved for what is now the fourth time (not all COVID related) you may be wondering if you’ll ever get a chance to see it, but we at Hutch’s Happy Hour are this time sticking to our guns and no longer being dictated by this moving target. So dust of your finest tuxedos and ballgowns (let’s face it, they’re going to be dusty) and treat yourself to this simple yet elegant classic of a cocktail.   

So first off, lets tackle a couple of misconceptions surrounding a Martini cocktail that if, like me, James Bond movies are your only point of reference, you are likely to be as surprised as I was when researching this…

#1 – A Martini is a gin-based cocktail, not vodka as the James Bond movies would lead you to believe. If you want one made with vodka, you’ll have to specifically order yourself a Vodka Martini.

 

#2 – That line …”shaken, not stirred”… as suave as he might sound when ordering his Martini, James Bonds preference in fact defies the consensus of expert bartenders the world over, who believe a Martini should be stirred and not shaken. Both are methods by which a drink is cooled, and a level of dilution added; but shaking, results in a colder and more diluted drink than an equivalent stir would achieve. Both of which, cold and dilution, have the effect of dulling the flavours in the cocktail.

 

That said, as this post is related to James Bond, I thought it would be fun to do things his way. At the end of the day, if you enjoy the end result who’s to say what’s right or wrong.

It didn’t take me long to find that if you go by the books, James Bond in fact enjoys a much wider variety of drinks than the movies lead us to believe. Whilst it is changed up a little throughout the movies, the Vodka Martini far outweighs any other drink. In the books however, he in fact orders more Scotch and Sodas than Vodka Martinis; whilst also enjoying the odd Vodka Tonic, Americano and Old Fashioned to name a few. Even more mind blowing is the fact that in the first book, Casino Royale, he claims to have invented the Vesper Martini but is the only occasion, in both book or film, that he actually drinks one. Perhaps he got bored having to explain his very own recipe to bartenders?! After all, every second counts when embroiled in the world of espionage as he is.

So how exactly does 007 like his Martini prepared? The first reference to this is in the second book, Live and Let Die, where he has a Martini consisting of 6-part vodka to 1-part vermouth. Now that’s a lot of vodka! Perhaps the reason why he preferred the drink shaken so, as I pointed out earlier, the flavours were a little more diluted. Whilst drinking on the job as he does so often you’ve got to keep your wits about you.

And the famous order…the exact words, “Martini…shaken, not stirred” are only ever uttered once by Sean Connery in Goldfinger. There are however, many references to Bonds preference for the drink shaken whether by a waiter serving the drink or a companion ordering on his behalf. In later instalments he starts specifically requesting a Vodka Martini to be shaken and not stirred when ordering. Maybe the film-makers were tiring of it being pointed out that a Martini should be gin and not vodka?!

Vodka Martini Ingredients [James Bond Style]

 

How to make a Vodka Martini [James Bond Style]

  • Combine both ingredients in a shaker with ice
  • Shake for roughly 10 seconds
  • Strain into your favourite martini glass

Given I’d never had a Martini prior to researching for this blog post, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted as lets face it; it’s pretty much pure vodka with a splash of vermouth to add that slight botanical flavour. I say to a lot of people they should try to use ingredients they enjoy the taste of neat wherever possible; and if this advice was ever to be followed this is the drink to do so, as the vodka makes up a huge part of the overall profile.

And if this just sounds a little too much for you; then why not try a recipe by Erik Lorinez, former head bartender at The Savoy, who reduces the vodka content to 4-part for every 1-part vermouth. So, 100ml of your chosen vodka mixed with 25ml of vermouth.

Hutch

 

PS – we’re also now on Instagram – so we’d love it if you make any of the cocktails we share, if you tagged us in them so we can take a look!  And you can look back over previous recipes we’ve covered on Hutch’s Happy Hour here

 
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