“Shaken and not stirred” has been James Bond’s catchphrase for decades. But how well would the superspy actually be able to perform his job if he was really drinking as often as author Ian Fleming said he was?
Doctors in England decided to find out, with Nottingham University Hospital’s Dr. Indra Neil Guha, who specializes in the liver, and some of his colleagues conducting a study to see how much Bond actually would have been drinking if he had consumed all the beverages that Fleming portrayed him as drinking. They went through each novel (excluding "The Spy Who Loved Me" because Bond is not the central character and "Octopussy and the Living Daylights" because the book is not one single story) and concluded that the spy would have been drinking six or seven alcoholic beverages a day (45 a week), according to NPR.
“We advise an immediate referral for further assessment and treatment, a reduction in alcohol consumption to safe levels, and suspect that the famous catchphrase 'shaken, not stirred' could be because of alcohol induced tremor affecting his hands,” Guha and his co-authors, Graham Johnson and Patrick Davies, wrote in an article for the British Medical Journal.
They also pointed out incidences when Bond consumed many drinks and then drove, such as in the novel “Casino Royale” when the authors estimate the spy drank almost 20 beverages before participating in a car chase. However, Bond ended up in the hospital after that particular escapade.
“We hope that this was a salutary lesson,” Guha, Johnson, and Davies wrote.
In addition, the "alcohol induced tremor" noted by Guha, Johnson and Davies would also not be ideal when firing a gun.
The study's authors did concede that Bond’s job might sometimes include pressure to drink but wrote that that shouldn't stop the spy from cutting down.
“Although we appreciate the societal pressures to consume alcohol when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers, we would advise Bond be referred for further assessment of his alcohol intake and reduce his intake to safe levels,” the doctors wrote.