Martini Day: James Bond Hates This One Simple Trick!

June 19th is Martini Day, aka “The 170th best excuse to enjoy a Martini so far this year“, and it’s the one day everyone can easily outperform 007. Because the  vodka martini — shaken, not stirred — is the worst thing you can have a bartender do to that cocktail short of drinking it an hour before serving it warm.

"Classic martini by Ken30684" by Ken30684 - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

(Source: Ken30684)

I like to think that Bond is actually an athletic idiot, his perfect style the result of an overtaxed support team providing his clothes, his cars, even his conversation over wireless relays. The skilled brains are far too valuable to risk in the field so they hook through through an expendable series of athletic drones. Idiotic violence savants happy to parrot everything they hear while waiting for the next excuse to smash things. If they weren’t secret agents they’d be football hooligans. And the one place Bond is allowed to exert his own choice, he screws it up. Imagine him applying that taste to everything else.

  • “Vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.”
  • “Kobe steak, well done, not rare. Burnt actually. With a little dish of ketchup.”
  • “Aston martin, beige, not silver. With leopard skin seats.”
  • “I’ll leave this YouTube video windowed, in standard resolution, so that I can read the comments.”

I think the drink’s an MI6 Psyop. They’re checking how many people will do something because they’ve been told it’s cool in stark defiance of every sense. Once we hit a critical percentage of poorly poured mixed drinks they’ll enact a sinister Phase Two, so please, Drink For Freedom with these helpful articles!

Better Bond Cocktails from Connery to Craig

I use my al-q-holic expertise to design better drinks for each actor to take the role. Why Brosnan drinks gin, the liquid Moore, and what makes Craig the toughest?

Why Vodkatinis Are Actually a Good Thing

If someone says the prefer gin, they’re right, but only because everyone who chooses their own drink is always right. But if they say vodkatinis shouldn’t exist they’re saying there should be less drink in the world and that way isn’t even madness. Enjoy the original Kangaroo cocktail and find out how it leapt around the world.

The Glory of Gin

Yes, vodka is useful. So is a hammer but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t rather listen to somebody playing the piano.

The Martini Infinity

Cocktail recipes are only starting points. And starting points lead everywhere fun. The range of ratios includes the alcoholic antimatter, the Oppenheimer, the inverse and even the infinite. Find your favorite by enjoying the search!

The Martini Madness Experiment

Some youthful arrogance in the silly insistence on gin as an elite instead of as an option, but I punish myself with ginfused jalapenos and the appalliquid that is the Bacontini. Which only prove that mistakes bring wisdom. And are tremendous fun.

The Energy Drink Overload Experiment

Energy drinks are everything wrong with modern society in a can: people believing advertising over their own bodies. They’re Pandora’s Tins of self-esteem problems persuading people that they’re uselessly broken in every way, but it’ll only take three dollars of soda to turn them into roller-blading success stories.

Unfortunately I can’t just list everything wrong with them and laugh. Writing for ZUG means I’ll have to drink them. ALL OF THEM. Instead of food for a day.

Mario has never looked so ominous.

Mario has never looked so ominous.

But first let’s look at the ingredients of my imminent doom:

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The Immortality Formula and Old Chinese Coffee

Behold, I finally get to share my immortality formula!


That’s eternal ability, and that’s just the first of the fantastic solutions I teach you in 4 Coffee Cocktails for Pure Productivity Power. We gave it that name because those poor people looking for office efficiency tips online need these drinks way more than we do. We just want them. And while we’re at it, we can remind ourselves of 7 Scientific Ways Coffee Gives You Superpowers. Which isn’t just “almost every scientist ever was on this stuff from the moment it was an option.”

While we’re at it, lets dust off a coffee shop story from a few years back:

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The Martini Madness Experiment

“Martini” is the most devalued word in alcohol after “Tequila” (a fine agave liquor reduced to poisonous battery acid by generations of slamming fratboys). Drinking something turns it into urine, and people still found a way to ruin Martinis even harder. There is no such thing as a Martini list, because there are only two types of Martini: anywhere claiming to have forty doesn’t know how to make even one. Things have gotten so bad that even Bond screws it up, and when Bond gets something wrong it legally no longer exists. He orders a Vodka Martini (which isn’t a Martini, that’s why it has a different name) then suavely specifies “Shaken, not stirred.”  Which sounds cool as an unlikely hell until you realise it means “Dilute it with lots of water and dissolve fizzy little bubbles in it. ”

"And can you make it pink with a bendy-straw?"

“And can you make it pink with a bendy-straw?”

I’ve decided to see just how far the mighty have fallen – by drinking them.  Bars might manslaughter Martinis into lazy alcoholic slushees, but how bad can things get when you really work at it?  I’ll solve this problem the way I solved everything as an undergraduate: drinking, strange tastes in my mouth and regret.  But first, a quick refresher course:

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My Dream Drinks App

Gadgets and alcohol have always been fast-tracks to happiness, so cocktail applications should be instructions for heaven. A far better use of technology than poking at facebook, because you’ll discover all sorts of wonderful new ways of forgetting things, rather than remembering assholes from high school you’ve already used the old ones on. There are just a few problems with every mixology app in existence:

  • If I’m searching for a drink I can make with certain ingredients, I should be able to enter the fruits and mixers I have too. I’m not looking for something to do with triple sec and sweet vermouth because those are the only two bottles I could sneak into a fully-stocked greengrocers.
  • An option to exclude all the idiots who thought “an oz of liquor and another mixer” deserved a whole new name. That drink already has a name: it is a THAT LIQUOR and THAT MIXER.
  • A spell checker which replaces all incorrect uses of “martini” with “vodka martini”. I don’t care if you’ve already loaded that poor thing with sour apple chocolate marshmallow and iced, you will call your candy concoction by its real name and not impugn the honour of a true cocktail with their overprefixed presence. Vodka is used to your degradations.
  • Don’t automatically check for updates. If I open this app it’s because I want a drink, and I’ll be goddamned if my own iPad can decide it’s too busy working behind the bar to serve me. Actually, no, I’ll not be goddamned, I’ll be default Manhattaned, and your stupid app will be deleted.
  • I am not a five year old child looking for bright colors, and if I am you should not be serving me. Load the ingredients and instructions first. If you absolutely must, you may then load up a picture. Put it below the text, somewhere I have to scroll to so that I can not do that.
  • If I wanted to drink with social sharing I’d be doing it in a bar. There is nothing wrong with mixing yourself a drink in the comfort of your own home. There is everything wrong with doing that and then clicking little buttons in the hope that anyone else in the world would care.
  • Screen transition animations are flair bartending. Which are like go-faster striped suppositories: you’re wasting your time on something that isn’t meant to be looked at and you can shove them up your ass.
  • If you think a cocktail-listing app should make noise, you don’t think, you’ve been fooled by the noises of the rocks in your head rolling around in all that space. But the rest of us can tell. Because that’s the only reason you could possibly think random extra noises are a good thing.

The St Patrick’s Day Green Drink Experiment

This article first appeared on the now-defunct

I love St Patrick’s Day: it’s like Ireland bought the entire world a round just by existing. The clichés are a little annoying — imagine the world spent Independence day eating hamburgers until everyone threw up in public — but for some reason America sees the Irish as inoffensive comic relief that can be safely ignored.

Thanks a lot, asshole.

Thanks a lot, asshole.

The result is all of North America drinking in our honor, which would be awesome if they could handle it. Part of the problem is the poison people drink: green beer is the alcoholic equivalent of yellow-black striped lines, but jamming your face into it does more damage in the long run. You should only drink green thinks if you’re an aphid. Color-coding people is one of the most appalling things in history, and it’s not as if Ireland has a lock on the colour.

Vexillogical analysis indicates that everyone in Ireland should learn Arabic

Vexillogical analysis indicates that everyone in Ireland should learn Arabic

I’ve never spent St Patrick’s drinking green, because I’m actually Irish and not an idiot, but now I’m grabbing every green grog I can get my Gaelic grip on just to see what happens.

Don’t worry about the drinking dangers.  I’m a professional.

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Illegal Mezcal in the Worship St Whistling Shop

The Worship Street Whistling Shop sounds like magical story business where people are whisked away to a better world, and since it’s an excellent cocktail bar that’s exactly what it is.


This is a bar you could live in. Down a flight of stairs, with two sharp corners between warmth and the outside world to make sure even light can’t get in to remind you of your worries. It’s not a basement bar but a hobbit hole, a Bag End of booze safe from any thought of the passage of time. The sun and moon are their own problem: we’ve got a liquor shelf and light low enough to let you enjoy them forever. You couldn’t be more comfortably cut off without a goose down mattress and a morphine drip.

Celebrating international Tequila day meant enjoying the Illegal Mezcal.


According to the rules mezcal isn’t truly tequila, made outside Jalisco province from different varieties of agave, but if you’re letting fussy definitions get in the way of enjoying yourself you’re getting tequila wrong. A month in sherry-washed casks matures the mezcal, an oak-panelled finishing school to elevating the much-maligned liquor from the slums of slammers. Mezcal has always been the equal of Scotch. This drink is the impassioned speech to convert the prejudiced, an olfactory oratory demonstrating the strength and intelligence of this wonderful drink.

The scent alone overpowers any naysayers. It deserves the word, no mere “aroma” of something that should only be sniffed, nor a “smell” warning you of chemical vats, this is a scent you must follow to find and consume the source. Smoked barrels of liquid beauty. So soft in the mouth, it’s silken agave, a sensation you can hold over your tongue as long as you want without a hint of burn, with warmth on the swallow.

The ginger beer and lime chaser is everything those words could and should be and it’s still only an afterthought to the mezcal. Sharp tingling clarity, this could cleanse your palate while your tongue was bleeding. The greatest taste of any liquor is the first sip, and this alternation lets you have as many first times as you want.

Happy International Tequila Day!

I would tell you to enjoy International Tequila Day, but that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are three ways to respond to “Would you like a drink?”: no, yes, and HELL YES, and the third one is tequila. It’s what happens when you try to make Scotch in a country where it’s not miserable and raining all the time.


Any drink that starts with attacking porcupine triffids is full of adventure.

Image source: Sun of Mexico

Read more in The Truth About Tequila over at CBS. And enjoy reading more with a cocktail!

Brave Bull
2 oz silver tequila
1 oz Kahlua

Pour the tequila into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Pour Kahlua on top and swirl.

The Brave Bull is the embodiment of Mexican liquors. The blue agave of Jalisco, the coffee and sugar cane of Veracruz: that’s not just a national drink, that’s three different ways the sun itself shows its love for us. The source of all life growing through sugars and caffeine to create a potion of pure life. Silver tequila is the youngest form of spirit, brash, bursting with agave, the alcoholic equivalent of a slap in the face and imprecation to get on with everything. Add the invigoration of caffeine and the liquid love that is rum and you don’t have a cocktail, you have a Humanity Upgrade Serum.

It’s important to stick to silver tequila. An aged tequila in this drink is like burning mahogany to keep warm. To lighten the taste, add lime juice and shake with ice to create a South of the Border.

The One Time You Must Drink And Drive

Pacific Rim is coming out soon, and it doesn’t need reviews because it has posters:

A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case "I WANT TO SEE THIS" two hundred times.

A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case “I WANT TO SEE THIS” two hundred times.

The new megamechs are called Jaegers, which means that their pilots are automatically Jaegermeisters.

Another machine designed to massively amplify human abilities

Another machine designed to massively amplify human abilities

This makes perfect sense: many of the times I’ve felt like an absolutely unstoppable incarnation of human awesomeness, several Jägermeister-like substances have been involved. They’re the super-soldier serum for heroes who have far better things to do than fighting people. And if you’re complaining that there’s a missing e and extra umlaut there, haha, yeah, that’s exactly the kind of skill that’ll make you a giant robot pilot.

Behold as I practice what I preach, combining a masterpiece of human tool-using skill with a giant robot* in The Truth Behind Pacific Rim.

*the masterpiece of human tool-using skill is a bottle of bourbon.