Science. Not only is it fun, it's also informative. Questions that plague the average man can be answered in a few short hours after the most simple experiment by an omniscient scientist.
Along with the shaker, the bar spoon is arguably the most common utensil you'll find secured beneath the bar top. The varieties that seem to exist are becoming endless, with spoons made for specific drinks, multi functional spoons, spoons that also act as knives. Have you ever questioned whether your bar spoon is the right tool for the job of stirring though?
The report comes from New Scientist who were looking at the best way to get your martini to the perfect temperature. I will avoid any Bond metaphors and references as I think we all know there are some fundamental errors in his martinis, especially with the quality of spirit we now have on the back bar.
The results were half surprising and half, if you thought about them they do actually make sense. The best tool to get your drink the coldest is in-fact a piece of wood. Ideally you could use one of the long paddles often served with take away coffee, or in lieu of that, one person recommended a pencil because it has:
"less mass, less surface area, a lower specific hear and will therefore conduct less hear from the hand."
The information is based on the fact that metal is too good of a heat conductor which means it would warm the drink too much. A stirrer with a bigger mass will have a bigger potential effect on the temperature than a smaller one. Which basically means if you used a big table spoon the drink would be hotter than with a long thin bar spoon.
What are to do with this information? I'm not entirely sure however I do not imagine we will see many people whipping out their be-spoke bartender pencils from their top pockets and giving your martini a good stir, leaving a subtle but delicious hint of lead. However maybe this does open the door to vintage waterproofed bar spoons, wooden shakers, or stocking up on paddles from Cafe Nero. We can certainly cross our fingers.