Shaken, not stirred – an essential guide to ordering a James Bond-worthy martini

The latest James Bond movie, No Time To Die, is now out in UK cinemas – here’s a guide to ordering the perfect martini

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Stars walk the red carpet at Bond premiere

Can you even think about James Bond without involuntarily saying ‘shaken, not stirred’?

The famous catchphrase made its debut in the Diamonds are Forever book, but wasn’t heard in the films by the secret agent himself until the 1964 movie Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery.

The highly-anticipated latest move, No Time To Die, is now in cinemas and will be Daniel Craig’s last appearance as Mr Bond.

The agent’s well-known phrase expresses 007’s preference for how he likes his martini’s, but there’s much more to making the classic cocktail that meets the eye.

In fact, it almost needs its own dictionary.

Dry, wet, dirty, and sweet are all ways in which one might enjoy this popular tipple, but knowing exactly what to order can be quite confusing, particularly because ordering a dry martini means adding less of the ingredient described as dry, and wet would be adding more of the ‘dry’ liquor.

Evening martini cocktail hotel bar


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So, our sister site 2Chill has put together a beginners guide to help you navigate the bar, and expertly order a martini just like James Bond.

Vodka or Gin?

Martini’s are traditionally made with gin, but some people prefer vodka, so specify which spirit you’d like in your drink by ordering a gin martini, or a vodka martini.


Ordering a martini will soon feel like ordering your favourite Starbucks.

Once you know what you like, your order will roll off the tongue like a grande caramel cream frappuccino with sugar-free hazelnut syrup, extra cream and caramel drizzle.

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But it’s knowing what terms to use to get what you want, so here are a few ways you can order a martini, and what they mean:

  • Dirty – with olive juice or brine giving a salty flavour

  • Dry – a drop less vermouth

  • Extra dry – a lot less vermouth

  • Wet – more vermouth

  • Sweet – sweet vermouth instead of dry

  • Perfect – equal measures of sweet and dry vermouth

  • Neat – straight from the bottle with no vermouth or chilling

  • Burnt – with a splash of smokey single malt

  • With a twist – lemon peel garnish

  • With an olive – to look sophisticated

  • Gibson – topped with a pickled onion

English actor Roger Moore, downs a Martini, 17th July 1968.


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So this is where you’ll want to ask for your drink to be shaken (or stirred). But there are also a few other ways your martini could be served – including on the rocks, straight up or thrown. Here’s what each of them mean:

  • Shaken – as you would imagine, shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice. This agitates the drink and helps dilute it, just how James Bond likes it.
  • Stirred – the ingredients are stilted with a bar spoon in a shaker of ice to properly chill the drink without diluting it.
  • On the rocks – served in a stemless glass over ice.
  • Served up – served in a traditional martini glass.
  • Thrown – poured from a height to release more aromatics.

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