James Bond's Martini: Myth or Fiction?

August 31, 2019

Want to know the real history behind the iconic Bond cocktail saying “shaken and not stirred”?

In 1962 Dr. No served James Bond a martini with the line “A medium dry martini, lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred.” Movie lovers absorbed the words and instantly the elegant words “shaken not stirred” became a drink dogma the world over.

Before the movie and the famous Bond books were birthed, history recounts that on our Bar Terrace in the early 50s, Ian Fleming and Winston Churchill were said to have been debating the merits of drinking a martini , to help quench one’s thirst during a hot Caribbean eve. As a result, the Vespa Martini was born. We can speculate that the world famous saying may have very well been coined at our main bar.

James Bond’s famous tag line is actually a reversal of the original quote from Fleming’s books. The author used the line “stirred not shaken” to add yet another facet to Bond’s cool image. It was decided that the line “shaken not stirred” sounded much better, however, and so was adopted for the film. (Bob French, Clifton, York)

We like to think that our atmosphere facilitates creativity through relaxation and it was not a surprise that novelty icons thought of the saying that is now much beloved today. The Caribbean breezes, relaxed atmosphere, good humour and fun all play a role in creating unforgettable experiences. The story of the great Bond Martini is no exception.

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