An actor’s ability to deliver a line may not only help cement a performance, but it could become a part of history, too. The saying “shaken, not stirred” became immortalized after Sean Connery’s James Bond described his martini preference the 1964 film Goldfinger. The American Film Institute honoured the film in 2005, ranking the phrase #90 on a list of the best movie quotes from the past 100 years.
Just as Ian Fleming’s fictional British Secret Service agent remains a lasting figure in pop culture, so too does his martini—shaken, or stirred. So much so that Belvedere Vodka has partnered with Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, due for global release on November 6, 2015. It’s a fitting partnership; as Rod Phillips writes, “Belvedere has, in a sense, been adopted by many North Americans as the vodka for the vodka martini. It might have been sheer coincidence that Belvedere hit stateside in the mid-1990s, just as the vodka martini craze took off, but the pairing has remained solid since.”
Belvedere’s distinct character and taste make it the ideal vodka for the cocktail, and in a recipe this simple, where nothing can hide, having a premium base is imperative.
“We aren’t exactly sure [about the origins of the martini],” says Ali Dedianko, global brand ambassador for Belvedere. “Like any great invention, everyone wants to claim it.” Many drink historians believe it’s an American invention, created around the late 1800s, though likely it was the evolution of another drink called the Martinez. A martini’s requirements vary, catered by personal preference revolving around the use of vermouth and whether or not it should be shaken or stirred. “The wetter the martini, the more vermouth present, while a dry martini will have little to none of the stuff,” says Dedianko. “Shaken martinis tend to be more high energy thanks to the aeration, think lunchtime or aperitif, while a stirred martini is the ideal cocktail to finish an evening.”
As for what has made the martini: “What makes anything timeless? The little black dress. An Aston Martin DB5. It’s hard to say why some things achieve icon status and others don’t,” says Dedianko. “I’m sure that Mr. James Bond’s penchant for the drink did help.” In that spirit, we serve up Mr. Bond’s classic recipe:
The Reverse Vesper Martini
60 ml Belvedere Vodka
20 ml Tanqueray 10
10 ml Lillet Blanc
- Shake all ingredients until very cold and fine strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with lemon zest.