James Bond’s Martini Consumption Would Have Compromised His Physical, Mental and Sexual Abilities

The authors postulate that the spy’s preference for shaken, not stirred vodka martinis may indicate a case of shaky hands caused by alcohol-induced tremors

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Agent 007 is known for his cunning, sharp mind, steady hand on the trigger, impeccable aim and finesse with the fairer sex. He is, additionally, a very heavy drinker, preferably of martinis—"shaken, not stirred," of course.

Dubious scientists, however, are calling the suave spy out. There is no way, they write, that Bond would have been able to consume the amount of alcohol he is described as drinking in Ian Fleming's novels and still have kept up the precision, coordination and critical thinking skills that made him such a successful agent.

To expose Bond for the drunk he really is, the team combed through all 14 of Fleming's Bond novels, taking note of any reference to booze. If the novel didn't specifically mention Bond drinking for a while, they filled in unknowns with conservative estimates. They also took note of days in which the agent would have found it impossible to drink, such as when he spent time in prison.

They used predefined alcohol unit levels to then calculate just how much drinking the character was doing on a weekly basis, which wound up totaling 92 units, or more than four times the recommended amount of alcohol. (Needless to say, on many days, Bond should not have been driving.) Out of 87 days they tallied, Commander Bond took a break from alcohol for just 12 of those days. "The level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol," the authors write.

To add one final blow against Bond, the authors postulate that the spy's preference for shaken rather than stirred vodka martinis may indicate a case of shaky hands caused by alcohol-induced tremors. "Ideally vodka martinis should be stirred, not shaken," they point out in the paper. "That Bond would make such an elementary mistake in his preferences seemed incongruous with his otherwise impeccable mastery of culinary etiquette."

More from Smithsonian.com:

The CIA May Have Taken Cues from 1960s Era James Bond 
Five Essential James Bond Accessories 

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