Sydney, June 3 : "I'll have it shaken, not stirred". James Bond always preferred his vodka martinis in this fashion, but does it make any difference to the taste of the drink? Yes, it certainly does, say a psychologist and chemist who like their science with a twist.
In order to celebrate the birth anniversary of Ian Fleming, the creator of the world's most famous secret agent, Professor Charles Spence and Dr Andrea Sella will be unveiling the secrets of 007's favourite drink and a range of other cocktails at a lecture at the Cheltenham Science Festival in England on June 4.
Spence is a psychologist who has worked with molecular gastronomist Heston Blumenthal to unravel the secrets of how we interpret taste, while his fellow Bond fan is a chemist at University College London.
In Canada in 1999, a group of students at the University of Western Ontario decided to test Bond's preference in a series of experiments on gin and vodka martinis, reports Sydney Morning Herald.
They studied the martini's ability to deactivate hydrogen peroxide, a substance used to bleach hair or disinfect scrapes and a potent source of the free radicals linked to ageing and disease.
The detailed chemistry is not fully understood but martinis were much more effective than their basic ingredients, such as gin or vermouth, at deactivating hydrogen peroxide - and about twice as effective when shaken.
In their analysis of the results, published in the British Medical Journal, the team concluded, reasonably enough, that Bond's excellent state of health "may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders".
And Sella believes that shaken martinis are not only healthier but also taste better.
This is due to what experts call "mouth feel". The shaken martini has more microscopic shards of ice, making its texture more pleasing. He plans to test this hypothesis at the Cheltenham Festival, where he is expecting no shortage of volunteers.