It’s World Martini Day and you know who comes to mind. James Bond, the British spy who downs 1,150 units of alcohol in 88 days. That’s 92 units a week, and four times the recommended maximum intake for men. The hard-drinking spy has had it all, but the one tipple he’s fond of the most is the martini, “shaken, not stirred”.
Some may beg to differ, given the fact that when you shake a martini, you’re guilty of two things: you introduce the tiny bubbles into the drink, making it cloudy, and you also break the ice into tiny shards, which are unslightly when floating on the surface of the drink.
It’s perhaps why Steve Leong, a bartender at Tess Bar & Kitchen, prefers his mixed with a throw. While stirring hardly produces bubbles and shaking creates too much, throwing a drink creates a textural element that can’t be achieved with the first two techniques. Leong’s favourite martini is inspired by James Bond’s caffeine addiction. It is made with Belvedere Vodka, Becherovka infused with coffee and port, which acts like vermouth, a key ingredient in a martini. Here’s how you can perfect the throw and make one at home.
How to throw
1. Select your two vessels (preferably shaker tins).
2. Assemble your ingredients in one vessel with two thirds filled with ice. This will be the top vessel.
3. Choose a julep or hawthorn strainer that will rest inside the top vessel at an angle of 45 degrees. this will allow liquid to be poured back into the vessel over the strainer.
4. In your right hand, hold the top vessel above your head. Now using your left hand, hold the second catching vessel near its brim between your thumb and middle finger, allowing it to pivot between the fingers.
5. Bring the catching vessel up to the height of your top vessel, and as you let the liquid from the top vessel fall into the catching vessel, gradually lower the latter.
6. Pour slowly and control the speed at which the liquid falls. Keep your eyes on the catching vessel. You want to keep it at a slight angle so the liquid hits the wall of the tin without splashing about.
7. Increase the distance between the vessels as you fall. You should be at your maximum reach when you’re about a third left in the top vessel. This will allow the last of the liquid to aerate the drink with maximum fall.
8. Repeat the process. Four to five throws should create optimum results.