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James Bond's Drink Choice: What Does It Say About Him?

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Nov 11, 2012 | 4:56am EST

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james bond vodka martini

A vodka martini — shaken, not stirred. The drink is as synonymous with James Bond as tuxedos and cleavage-bearing women. While a vodka martini hints that Bond has sophisticated tastes — sorry, we won't even acknowledge that Skyfall Heineken — what does it really say about the spy? According to Andrew Mirabito, Brand Ambassador for Bombay Sapphire, it proves Bond is one of a kind. After all, prior to Bond's popularity, gin martinis were the conventional choice. "Back then in the '50s and '60s, everyone ordered gin martinis," Mirabito tells Hollywood.com. "I'm in the gin world and technically James Bond killed part of our gin business by asking for the martini with vodka, shaken not stirred. And as far as major media, he was one of the first ones to ask for his martini made with vodka."

Suddenly, vodka was catapulted into popularity, thanks to Sean Connery's stirring Bond. "Vodka was not part of the mainstream cocktail culture," Mirabito says. "He brought it more to the mainstream. [He helped] the vodka martini market and made that more masculine."

But what does the vodka martini say about contemporary men, and the contemporary Bond? "They have a sophisticate palate," he says. "They usually [have] a certain level of wealth. [They enjoy] cars, clothes, traveling, a well made martini... that's James Bond."

One personality trait of a vodka martini drinker hasn't changed since the '60s — Mirabito says such a customer is still typically more macho than others. "In general, the type of person who would order a martini like that is someone very masculine," Mirabito says. "Very successful. It's all straight liqueur, straight spirits, so it's someone who knows what they want." Sound familiar, Bond fans?

Aisha Sharpe, a beverage consultant who creates cocktails for different brands and venues including Leblon Cachaca, believes that it's not so much the drink itself that defines Bond, but the way in which he prefers it to be made (shaken, not stirred). "It's the conviction with which he orders it, and knowing exactly what he wants and how he wants it," she says. "It's sort of the take-charge attitude: 'This is how I want my drinks. This is how I want everything.'" 

And Bond not only shook up the type of martini people prefer, but also changed the way people ask bartenders to make the cocktail. "When you get into mixology, [you're taught] to stir the cocktail if it's only spirits because that's kind of the rule of thumb," Mirabito says. "[But Bond] says, 'Shaken not stirred.' He disturbed the whole culture of how you actually make the cocktail." Something tells us Bond would drink to that.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.

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