Shaken versus stirred is a very serious consideration, especially during the holiday season. I tend to agree with 007’s preference for a shaken martini. I also enjoy a shaken margarita. But there are certain cocktails – namely Manhattans and Negronis – that I prefer stirred. I used to, rather lazily, make my stirred drinks in the glass from which I’d be drinking them, but over the years I’ve come to savour the process of making a cocktail as much as drinking it.
What ultimately changed my stirred game was the discovery several years ago of a delightfully simple and functional glass cocktail mixer (£185 via the Pamono website for the UK) with a stainless-steel pouring filter and stirrer. Produced by Chicago-based design firm Fferrone, it is beautiful enough to display on a counter or bar cart, and when in use the deep see-through base means liquid appears to float within it. It is very light and hand-blown in the Czech Republic from borosilicate glass – the same material used to make chemistry beakers because it is super-strong and heat resistant (and thus pleasingly dishwasher and microwave safe).
Fferrone is the work of architect-trained Felicia Ferrone, who cut her design teeth working in Milan for such luminaries such as Antonio Citterio and Piero Lissoni, and is also the director of graduate studies in industrial design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Revolution mixer was her first, in collaboration with her partner Christopher Gentner, a lighting and furniture designer specialising in metals with whom she shares a fondness for vodka martinis – hers dirty, his with an olive that he never eats (apparently it’s just for flavour). Naturally, then, the barware range includes martini glasses (£85 for two), in which the contents “float” at different levels, as well as champagne “flutes” (£72 for two), a carafe (£123) and even liqueur glasses (£67 for two) that can also be used for much-needed morning-after espressos.