Martinis: How Do You Take Yours?

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Martinis stirred not shaken

So there we were, perched at the bar, ready for our well-deserved Friday martinis. After teasing our palates by taking time to decide our preferred gins (Tanq. No. Ten for Mr G, Sipsmith for Ms S), we nearly fell off our stools when our barman asked if we wanted them shaken or stirred.


Call us blase but when a bar takes the trouble to stock premium gins like Tanq 10, Plymouth, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire and Sipsmith, we expect the guys behind it to know the essentials. Like martinis are never shaken, they’re always stirred.

Credit where it’s due though, our barman did his best to settle the startled looks on our faces by serving up two pretty decent drinks. Ms S was initially a bit miffed that hers came with a black olive rather than her preferred twist. Okay, she didn’t state her preference (such was her shock at the shaken or stirred question) but neither was she asked. Assumption is a dangerous thing. Particularly when it comes to martinis. Which brings us back to the beginning: funny he cared enough to ask about the method of preparation but not about the essential finish. Which is more important to you?

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)

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2 Responses

  1. I, too, get a little wary when I get questions like ‘vodka or gin’ or ‘shaken or stirred’ and start to wonder if the barman really knows how to make a martini I’ll like. But, I’ve learned not to consider that too much an indication of what the martini will be like and see it more as a reflection on bars serving a majority of customers who don’t know the proper preperation. The fact is, they probably get more disgruntled clients who think they are doing it the wrong way when they really are doing it the right way.

    I also try to think of it that at least they’re asking and not just making assumptions.

    As for prep versus finish: i guess i’d rather have my martini made the way i want it and get the wrong garnish than a badly made one with the right garnish.

  2. You’re right, it was just such a shock as we haven’t been asked that question for at least 10 years! As we said, our barman did serve up a pretty good drink though…

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