Originally posted by Grampy
I am finding that many people believe that shaking will bruise the gin. The only problem with this is that you cannot bruise gin. The second point stirrers hold to is that shaking makes the gin cloudly. To which I reply, "For how long?" Only a few seconds. I have shaken and stirred, and I maintain that shaking generally gets the drink colder.
For some, the martini is a exquisite experience with subtle complexities that may almost rival some Japanese tea rituals. Like fine wine, a martini starts by being satisfying to the eye. Most martini aficianados begin with a momentary appreciation of that special tranluscence which takes on a certian turbulent lubriciousnous during pouring. That very fleeting experience is marred by any initial cloudiness, however brief. On the other hand, if the prepared martini is to be served in another room, go ahead and shake the hell out of it. But then again . . .
Many people overlook the fact that, like the salt from the olive, the water from the ice has an important role: in the just right amount, it "rounds out" the gin/vermouth experience. Leave out the water altogether by using ingredients from the freezer to eliminate the need for ice and many will note a harsh edge. On the other end, leaving the mixture in the ice too long will result in a "watered" drink. And therin lies another problem with shaking: in contrast to less-violent stirring, it tends to lives chips that continue to melt in the poured drink, adding unwanted additional water.
I don't know that shaking gets the drink colder but, done with sufficient vigor, it does get it colder more quickly
. That may reduce the icing time somewhat, resulting in a bit less water, however that adantage is immediately lost to the extent that the drink is left with tiny slivers of ice still melting in it. My own solution is to use cold ingredients, a cold shaker with ice cubes
, stir deftly and briefly, then pour.