Fictional British agent James Bond famously orders a vodka martini in the film “Goldfinger” and — as he has for the past 60 years — specifies that this should be “shaken, not stirred.” By doing this Bond is actually making a weaker and more watered-down drink. But what if you wanted the perfectly blended martini? A group of automotive designers and engineers have crafted a cocktail mixer that costs $3,755 and purports to make the perfectly mixed drink in just 15 seconds using turbines and science.
Much of being rich seems to be creating problems and then imagining increasingly more convoluted and expensive solutions to those problems–think Jeff Bezos and the smaller yacht he bought to follow his bigger yacht to carry his girlfriend’s helicopter. Apparently, poorly-mixed martinis were a concern of the upper echelons of British society and so a solution has been proffered by CALLUM, the engineering and design firm helmed by ex-Ford/Aston Martin designer Ian Callum and made up of a bunch of engineers who worked on projects for Aston Martin.
I regret to inform you that it looks incredible. My initial instinct was: This is silly. After looking at all the photos and reading about how it works my new sense is: How successful do I need to make The Autopian to justify buying a cocktail mixer that’s worth about as much as my E39? Maybe when we reach 10,000 members this will be my gift to myself.
It’s unclear how this idea came about, but CALLUM paired up with British Airways, mixologist Mr Lyan, and watch company Bremont to make the ideal cocktail mixer.
“Aviation is at the heart of this fun yet engineering-inspired design. At CALLUM, we aim to create products that ‘stir the imagination’ – we’ve taken it more literally this time, and hope that all who taste a cocktail from the Martini Mixer enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it,” said Callum in a press release for the mixer.
You don’t have to ask me twice, Ian.
The problem of mixing a drink is an interesting one. We’ll forgive Mister Bond for asking for a weak martini since, in theory, he was on the clock. That’s not so good for the rest of us.
The main goal in making a cocktail like a martini is usually to blend the ingredients so that the constituent parts synthesize into something that has a uniformity of taste. For something like a martini, you don’t want to blend it too hard as you’ll aerate the beverage. At the same time, a martini, whether composed of gin or vodka, should be served as cold as possible without resorting to putting it over ice. Therefore, a long-necked and thin teardrop bar spoon is often used to blend the drink and chill it without chipping too much ice.
Or, you could dramatically over-engineer a solution, which is what CALLUM seems to have done:
The Martini Mixer’s main body – or ‘combustion chamber’ – has been machined from food-grade stainless steel 316 billet, which encases a borosilicate glass vessel, resistant to thermal shock for the ultimate iced cocktail. Fixing atop of the combustion chamber is the ‘turbine’, which is the mixer’s control unit. Inside, a motor and rechargeable lithium-ion battery powers a hollow stainless steel mixing paddle. CALLUM’s engineers executed Mr Lyan’s precise instructions to ensure the specially-designed mixing paddle rotates at the optimum revolutions per minute (rpm) – between 120-160 rpm – to deliver a perfectly blended and cooled martini in under 15 seconds.
Amazing. In keeping with the aviation them, the design was inspired by the aircraft of British Airways and features a lot of interesting details.
“A sleek, almost aerodynamic design, it has no external switches to disrupt its lines. Within the mixer’s control head unit, and encased in glass, is a decorative turbo fan machined from aluminium and inspired by turbofan engines on British Airways’ aircraft. It is finished in the brand’s signature ‘Gold’, echoing the décor in the exclusive Concorde Room. In the centre of the turbine is a replicated fan nose cone, hand-painted with a white swirl design as per the aircraft.” Adam Donfrancesco, engineering director at CALLUM, explains.
It looks the business, no doubt, and with an internal LED you can actually watch the cocktail being mixed. There’s a rather large lithium-ion battery inside that can run the motor for 120 minutes or, approximately, 500 martinis per charge. That’s a lot of martoonies.
If you want one, you can pay CALLUM a vodka-chilled $3,775 in American dollars, which includes a 10% deposit. If you’re curious and don’t want to spend that much money, British Airways will be using it in their first-ever Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5, which I assume is where you go when you’ve got an extra expensive ticket. There you can enjoy a drink imagined by Mr. Lyan:
Travellers will now be able to sip the perfect ‘Turbine Martini’ ahead of their flight, an exclusive recipe curated by the airline’s award-winning partner mixologist, Mr Lyan. The Turbine Martini takes on the elegance of an original martini with a modern twist, combining classic ingredients such as vermouth, custom bitters and a bespoke garnish, with the British Airways’ newest gin partner, Aviation American Gin. When martini lovers are ready to enjoy the cocktail, the airline’s Concorde Room colleagues will mix and pour the Turbine Martini seat side.
That sounds nice. Also, my personal preference is making a martini with gin so I deeply respect this move.
If anyone is going to be traveling through Heathrow please check this out, because I’m not sure I’m bold enough to ask for a press cocktail mixer.
Photos: CALLUM. This post contains an Amazon link and we may get a commission if you decide you can’t afford a $4k mixer and just get the spoon.
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