Researchers have discovered the truth behind James Bond's famous catchphrase "shaken, not stirred." The fictional British Secret Service agent was an alcoholic.
A team of scientists from the Royal Derby Hospital decided to analyze Bond's drinking habits in a new tongue-in-cheek study published in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal
. They found that the spy drank more than four times the amount recommended by doctors and likely suffered from alcohol-induced tremors, which explains the way he liked his martinis, LiveScience.com reported.
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"Ideally, vodka martinis should be stirred, not shaken. That Bond would make such an elementary mistake in his preferences seemed incongruous with his otherwise impeccable mastery of culinary etiquette," the study says.
After examining all 14 Bond books, the researchers found that he consumed about 92 units of alcohol a week (a 6-ounce glass of wine, or a pint of beer, each contain two units of alcohol), with a maximum daily intake of 49.8 units.
"We have shown that Bond's alcohol intake is of sufficiently high frequency and duration to cause such cerebellar damage," the study claims. "He was unlikely to be able to stir his drinks, even if he would have wanted to."
Bond would also likely have suffered liver damage and perhaps even heart problems. The team of researchers hypothesized that he would have followed in the footsteps of the man who created him — author Ian Lancaster Fleming drank and smoked in excess until he died of a heart attack at age 56.
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