Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Bruising

This is my third “Revisited” post on ‘Shaken vs. Stirred’.   The previous two dealt with Temperature and Dilution.  See Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Temperature and Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Dilution to catch up.   Today we wax poetic on Bruising.

I’m sure you’ve read or heard somewhere that shaking ‘bruises’ the gin and/or Martini.  And by implication, this is ‘BAD’ and you don’t want your Gin to be bruised.    What exactly does Bruising mean?

It does not mean that you’re turning the martini ‘black and blue’!   Nor does it mean that the Gin is ruined.  Nor does it imply that the taste is altered, more on that later.

In our discussion here it means that you emulsify the drink making it cloudy, or if you will, foamy.  Shaking the Martini adds millions and millions of tiny air bubbles into the mix.  Ok, maybe not millions, but a lot.   Enough that all those little bubbles creates the cloudiness in the drink. These tiny air bubbles also make the liquid just a bit less dense. You can feel the difference on your palate – this is sometimes also called ‘Mouth Feel’.

This affect it temporary as the air bubbles eventually work their way to the surface of the liquid and ‘pop’.  This takes approximately 30 – 45 seconds, though I haven’t actually sat there with a stop watch.  Really, who has time to time this when there’s a martini sitting in front of you inviting you to take a sip.  But I digress….  the point being that after about a minute the effect is gone and you’re left with a clear smooth martini.

Next up, Taste …. Which tastes better?  Shaken or Stirred?  Keep your eyes open for the next installment…..

I’d call this a draw. This is ultimately a matter of personal preference. I like the emulsification, but not so adamantly that I ask my drink to be shaken. If the barkeep stirs my drink I’m still a happy camper.

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