The drinks of Goldfinger

The Aston Martin DB5, golden girls and atomic plots have all become icons of the James Bond film series. However, while Goldfinger appears to have everything, 007’s signature drink was missing from the mix.

Goldfinger Drinks

While Goldinger features many iconic moments and provided a template for all subsequent Bond films, it may be surprising to learn that the vodka martini is missing from the film. In fact, while the drink appeared sporadically  throughout the series, it only became a regular fixture when Pierce Brosnan stepped into 007’s shoes.


There may be no vodka martini in Goldfinger, but when asked by Goldfinger’s assistant whether there is anything she can do for him while on board his jet, Bond replies, “Just a drink. A martini, shaken, not stirred.”

While that may lead many to presume he is served a vodka martini, his martini was actually mixed with gin. It is only more recently that many bars will make the drink with vodka; traditionally a martini would always be made with gin unless otherwise specified.

And a careful look at the bar on Goldfinger’s jet reveals it is stocked with Gordon’s gin, Martini and Rosso vermouth, a soda siphon and an ice bucket; there is no vodka on the plane.


The other drink James Bond is associated with in Champagne, and in the early films Dom Periginon was Bond’s choice.

When Bond notices the bottle he is sharing with Jill Masterson has lost his chill, he tells her “My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as bad as listening to The Beatles without ear muffs.”


Goldfinger is the only film in which 007 drinks brandy,  an appropriate drink in the club atmosphere of the Bank of England, where he dines with M and Colonel Smithers to discuss Goldfinger’s smuggling operation.

When Smithers offers Bond more of a “disappointing brandy”, M asks what’s wrong with it. “I’d say it was a 30-year-old Fine indifferently blended, sir”, Bond replies, before adding, “with an overdose of Bons Bois”.

Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaires are the areas where the poorest quality soil is found, resulting in lower quality grapes used in the production of cheaper cognacs.

Mint Julep

When James Bond accepts Goldfinger’s offer of a mint julep while being held captive on a stud farm in Kentucky, he specifies “Sour mash, but not too sweet”.

The Mint Julep has been the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. While there is some debate about how to prepare it correctly, the method below is just one way.

In a pewter julep cup or tumbler muddle all but a couple of the mint leaves with the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved completely. Fill the glass with ice, top up with bourbon and garnish with the remaining mint leaves.

If you liked this article you might also like my book:


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David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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One Response to “The drinks of Goldfinger”

  • Jon Goldstein

    Great description and background details of drinks served in Goldfinger. I was looking up what “bon bois” meant and you answered it.