SO, what exactly is the difference between a shaken vodka martini and a stirred one? This is a question that was already answered by the Mythbusters in their James Bond episode. They found out that the shaken martinis contain more ice which affects the taste and appearance of the martini.
Just to be sure, I got Amanda to whip up two martinis, one shaken and one stirred, with the exact amount of ingredients in them to find out exactly how different the two were.
As it turns out, the shaken martini was left in the ice longer; and because it was colder, the flavours in the martini turned out to be rather muted compared to the more flavourful stirred martini. Judging from the condensation on the exterior of both glasses, the stirred one also got warm faster than the shaken one.
In conclusion, whether you like your martinis shaken or stirred really depends on how fast you drink your martinis. If you like to take it slow, then get a shaken one. But if you tend to finish your drinks quickly, then a stirred one would probably be much better for you.
For the last word on this subject, who better to turn to than a President of the United States (albeit a fictional one)? Martin Sheen’s President Josiah Bartlet, from the TV series The West Wing, has this to say about Bond’s favoured martini:
“Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.”