Why James Bond looks so healthy

According to The Telegraph, shaken martinis might be the secret of Bond's success. In fact, two UK researchers, a psychologist and a chemist, are collaborating with a French bartender to prove that 'shaken, not stirred' martinis are different. They'll show the difference on June 4, 2008, during the Cheltenham Science Festival. Unfortunately for readers, the event is sold out. But read more...

According to The Telegraph, shaken martinis might be the secret of Bond's success. In fact, two UK researchers, a psychologist and a chemist, are collaborating with a French bartender to prove that 'shaken, not stirred' martinis are different. They'll show the difference on June 4, 2008, during the Cheltenham Science Festival. Unfortunately for readers, the event is sold out. But read more...

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So is it really martinis that help James Bond to stay so healthy? You can see on the left a photo of Sean Connery holding a gun and a martini. (Credit: The Kobal Collection, via the British Medical Journal (BMJ)). This is not the first time that researchers are looking at James Bond martinis recipes -- with a scientific twist. Back in 1999, the BMJ published an article about a research project from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Here is a link to the BMJ's comment, "Shaken martinis may be more effective antioxidants than stirred ones." "Speculating on why the secret agent James Bond seems so healthy, Trevithick and colleagues tested the antioxidant properties of Bond's favourite drink "shaken, not stirred" martinis. They tested drinks for their ability to deactivate hydrogen peroxide and found that shaken martinis were more effective than stirred martinis and that both were more effective than gin or vermouth alone."

This paper was called "Shaken, not stirred: bioanalytical study of the antioxidant activities of martinis." (Volume 319, Issue 7225, Pages 1600-1602). Here are two links to the abstract and to the full paper (PDF format, 4 pages, 416 KB). The illustration above has been extracted from this document.

Now, let's come back to 2008 and the new research being done by Charles Spence, a psychologist who is the director of the Crossmodal Research Lab at the University of Oxford, and Dr Andrea Sella, who works in the Department of Chemistry at the University College in London (UCL).

The Telegraph reports what Sella thinks about the 'Shaken, not stirred' (Wikipedia link) controversy. "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."

Sella will check if he's right at the Cheltenham Festival on June 4 during the Shaken or stirred? event -- which is sold out.

Sources: Roger Highfield, The Telegraph, UK, May 19, 2008; and various websites

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