James Bond’s love of “shaken, not stirred” vodka martinis would have left the spy at death’s door — not to mention he would have been an “impotent drunk,” too.
Several doctors have now analysed Ian Fleming’s novels, and they’ve calculated that the secret agent actually drinks the equivalent of one and a half bottles of wine every 24 hours.
This research was conducted by English doctors in Nottingham and Derby, who read through all of Fleming’s 14 Bond books to come to their conclusion.
They then charted every drink and every day that Fleming documents in his series. In the end, Bond drank 1,150 units of alcohol in 88 days, excluding 36 days that he spent in rehab, hospital, and prison.
This equates to 92 units a week, which is four times the recommended intake of alcohol for men, and is around five vodka martinis a day.
Doctors published their findings in British Medical Journal’s festive edition, and concluded: “Although we appreciate the societal pressures to consume alcohol when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers, we would advise Bond to be referred for further assessment of his alcohol intake.”
A consultant at Nottingham University Hospitals, Patrick Davies, joked, “You wouldn’t want this person defusing a nuclear bomb.”
Davies then added, “He’s a very glamorous person, he gets all the girls and that’s totally incompatible with the lifestyle of an alcoholic, which he is.” He also stated that Bond would be at high risk of liver damage, and would probably be impotent. Dr Davies teased, “So he might be practicing safe sex after all.”
But what were Bond’s worst exploits when drunk? Well, during Casino Royale, he drank 39 units of alcohol and then proceeded to take part in a car chase, which resulted in a crash that left him in hospital for around two weeks.
In From Russia With Love, Bond inhaled 50 units on his single biggest bender. By 1959’s Goldfinger, 007 had seemingly sorted out his life and had stopped drinking as much. But by You Only Live Twice in 1964, he came back to drinking, taking in 132 units per week.
However, this might come down to the fact that his wife had died in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, so maybe we can forgive him for returning to the bottle for solace.
While the research was meant to be a bit of fun, researchers admitted that it did reveal how dangerous consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can be.
“The level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol,” the doctors said.