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Shaken vs. Stirred

Shaken or stirred? You've heard the phrase a million times. (Thanks, James Bond.) But what’s the difference?

We asked bona fide scientist Paul Doherty of San Francisco’s Exploratorium to explain, using a martini as an example. He says there are three factors at play: temperature, density and oxygen.

Shaken: The martini comes out colder, the ice starts to melt more quickly, which adds water, and the agitation adds air to the concoction. You're left with a lighter, smoother drink.

Stirred: The martini isn't as cold, it's less watered down and has less oxygen. You're left with a stronger, sharper drink.

For more booze demystified, check out Bourbon vs. Whiskey, Liquor vs. Liqueur and How Not to Mess Up a Dirty Martini.

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