Martinis: Shaken V. Stirred
May 27, 2008
The science in this article, which claims that a shaken martini has a measurable advantage in salubriousness over a stirred one, seems highly dubious to me. The article recaps the findings of some British scientists (who probably have too much time on their hands) reviewing research done in 1999 by some Canadian ones (who definitely have too much time on their hands):
"[The Canadians] studied the martinis' ability to deactivate hydrogen peroxide--a substance used to bleach hair or disinfect scrapes, and a potent source of the free radicals linked to ageing and disease.
"While the detailed chemistry is not fully understood, martinis were much more effective than their basic ingredients--such as gin or vermouth--at deactivating hydrogen peroxide, and about twice as effective when shaken.
"The martini must contain an antioxidant that deals with the peroxide, and which works better after shaking. (The olives that are normally added might also have an effect, but were left out as being 'too difficult to model.')
"In their analysis of the results in the British Medical Journal, the team concluded, reasonably enough, that Bond's excellent state of health 'may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders.'
"And Dr. Sella believes that shaken martinis are not only healthier, but also taste better. This is due to what experts call 'mouthfeel'--the shaken martini has more microscopic shards of ice, making its texture more pleasing."
Shaken martinis are twice as effective at deactivating hydrogen peroxide? Well, there's one good solution for that: stop using so much hydrogen peroxide. Here's a list of uses for the household chemical to help you remember ways to disincorporate it from your life.
And, so, my good friend, Dr. Sella, you believe shaken martinis taste better? That just goes to show how much you have to learn about drinking. Stirred martinis are always better integrated, smoother and more elegant and have more pronounced flavor and complexity. I've tested the two methods side by side, several times. Furthermore, I believe that stirred martinis promote my health more than shaken ones precisely because they make me happier and less stressed, and scientific research backs this up. In a recent test, I was 100 times more effective in deactivating hydrogen peroxide after a few stirred martinis than I was after the shaken ones. Just goes to show …
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