Food & Drink

This Is Oppenheimer's Preferred Martini Recipe

It Begins with Four Ounces of Gin

Image: Los Alamos Historical Society

If you've watched Oppenheimer, you probably get what all the fuss is about.

If you haven't watched Oppenheimer, you should probably go do that just as soon as you're done reading what's below.

Because while the movie included lots of compelling performances and a look into one of the most interesting and complex moments in history, we can't stop thinking about the man's unusual cocktail choice.

In the film, we see the father of the atomic bomb mixing drinks in a kitchen, where it appears he makes a Martini served in a glass that's been dipped in a foreign substance to coat the rim.

Turns out, J. Robert Oppenheimer liked to make his Martinis with a wildly boozy gin to vermouth ratio and serve the drink in a glass that was rimmed with lime juice and honey. In the movie, the cocktail was served sans garnish, which makes sense — the rim is its own garnish.

The end result is basically a glass of cold gin with a dash of vermouth, so the honey-lime rim adds some pizzazz, even if it would make Churchill roll over in his grave. Below is a recipe based on reports of Oppenheimer's drinking habits at Los Alamos.

Oppenheimer's Martini


  • 4 ounces dry gin
  • 1 dash (roughly 1/4 ounce) dry vermouth
  • Lime juice and honey, to rim glass


  1. Add lime juice and honey to a saucer, then roll a chilled cocktail glass in the mixture to coat the rim. 
  2. Add the gin and dry vermouth to a mixing glass with ice, and stir until cold. 
  3. Strain into the prepared glass.

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