Alcohol is one of those universal substances that unites the world and, in turn, shows those around us that despite our inherent differences, we have a lot more in common than what meets the eye. Cultures all around the world have different applications for this particular beverage including, but not limited to, pleasure, religion and various ceremonies of all sorts. But, all in all, one huge similarity is that they all bring people together. When you take into consideration that some cultures like those that reside in places like Italy basically revolves around itself, it’s not hard to see just how important these types of things are to people.
That being said, the price to obtain it is a different story altogether. From the $1 beer night at your favorite bar to splurging on a wonderful bottle of scotch, alcohol is just one of those things that most people love to spend their hard-earned dollars on – since it acts as a means to cut back, let loose and let the good times roll. But, there are those of us who see spending a few hundred dollars on bottle service as spending pocket change, and that’s where this list comes into play. These people have to really splurge to feel the burn, so to speak. Read on to find out about the most expensive alcoholic beverages that the world has to offer.
15. The Winston Cocktail – $12,970 per glass
This one of a kind drink is all thanks to one very talented Australian bartender who has become famous for his mixed drink, The Winston Cocktail. Salvatore Calabrese came up with the beverage by combining some of the world’s most expensive liquors such as Grand Marnier Quintessence, Chartreuse Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolonge and, most exceptionally, Croizet’s 1858 ‘Cuvee Leonie,’ cognac which is still one of the priciest liquors that you can possibly buy. But, if you are somehow able to afford its hefty price tag and want to give the drink a whirl, please note that you will have to give at least a few days of notice, since the garnish is comprised of a little bit of coconut, chocolate nutmeg dust, poppy seed essence and rose essence. Intriguing, huh?
14. 1811 Château d’Yquem – $130,000
Back in 2011, the 1811 Château d’Yquem actually broke the world record for the most expensive bottle of white wine when it sold for $130,000! The lucky owner, Christian Vanneque, just couldn’t help but add this to his private wine collection and, considering that he’s a connoisseur, can you really blame him? This particular white wine got its hefty price tag after critics started to rave about it. It received 100 points from wine critics Robert Parker and Per-Henrik Mansson. In addition, it underwent rigorous tests to establish its authenticity, which includes a very close inspection of the bottle and label to make sure that it was in accordance with its historic representations. This is also one of few white wines on the market that has actual staying power, which makes it quite unique. This is due to its high sugar concentration and the acidity of the grapes, which hypothetically means that if the 1811 Château D’Yquem continues to be stored properly, it will never expire. So, whether Christian Vanneque ultimately decides to drink from 1 of the 10 of the bottles that are still left in existence, or place it on display at his restaurant (Sip Sunset Grill), he will forever be known as a man who, at one point or another, owned a piece of history.
13. Diamond Jubilee by Johnnie Walker – $165,000
This particular whisky is the most royal of the bunch for so many reasons. The Diamond Jubilee was crafted by those working for Johnnie Walker (including master blender John Beveridge) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth inheriting her throne in 1952. The year played a special role in the production of the spirit as well, considering that they had to go through all of the barrels of whisky that they had preserved from that year and judge their worthiness. After this long and tedious process, there were only three that passed the test and this was because of the way they were stored. The complexity of flavors are so spectacular that the only way to truly describe it is by having you think about the perfect mix of notes – high and low – combined in a way that you would have to taste to believe. In addition, its decanter is beautifully hand-crafted using Baccarat crystals, Britannia silver and studded with a half-carat diamond, making the price even more worthwhile. So, if you want to taste this marvel for yourself and have a beautiful keepsake in your private collection, just know that you’ll probably have to act fast because there’s only 60 in the world.
12. Remy Martin’s Black Pearl Louis XIII Anniversary Edition – $165,000
To commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Louis XIII brand, those working at Remy Martin decided to create something extra special, and the final result was above and beyond their expectations. The anniversary edition of Remy Martin’s Black Pearl Louis XIII is a one of kind cognac in both its taste and look, making it a staple in any collection. This particular one process is over 100 years in the making, since the eau de vies that was used to create this masterpiece varied from between 40 and 100 years old! On top of that, they used over 1,200 of them to bring forth its delicate but powerful fruity flavor that has just enough of a woody quality to please any cognac lover. In addition, the decanter was a tribute to the original one from the Louis XIII brand and its special layering of precious metals means that the colors that you see are almost as complex as the flavors that will delicately waltz across your taste buds.
11. Penfolds Ampoule – $170,000
The Penfolds Ampoule is literally a piece of art due to the collaboration between its designer-maker Hendrik Forster, furniture craftsman Andrew Bartlett, glass artist Nick Mount and scientific glassblower Ray Leake. Its unique shape means that all eyes will be on it whenever it’s in the room. While it may just be viewed as an overpriced means of storing the world-renowned 2004 Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon, the sheer artistry behind the piece makes it all worthwhile. Besides, it’s not like the housing is just for show. The wooden box and glass casing keeps the wine in the ideal atmosphere so that it doesn’t spoil, thus prolonging its shelf life almost indefinitely. However, if you do decide to open it, please note that you will have to contact the company so that they will be able to send over a trained wine expert – as there is a special way of cracking open the bottle. It also may be worthwhile to know that you can’t re-close it because it’s not sealed by a cork – just the tip of the glass.
10. Bombay Sapphire Revelation – $200,000
Back in 2008, the gin brand Bombay decided to partner up with Garrard, one of London’s most well known jewelry houses, and their in-house designer Karim Rashid to bring forth what can only be described as some of the most stylish bottles of alcohol on the market. The Baccarat crystals paired with sapphires and diamonds are seamlessly brought together to create gloriously elegant designs that are able to satisfy any taste. With five one-of-a-kind handcrafted designs, you can rest assured that you will find a source of enjoyment out of this particular purchase – even after you’re done drinking it.
9. Tribute to Honour by Royal Salute – $200,000 – $215,000
This rare blend of Royal Salute’s finest offerings, which mainly consist of whiskeys that have been aged for at least 45 years, make up one of the rarest and most expensive drinks that the world has to offer. That being said, its undeniably rich, smooth taste is definitely worth the expenditure, especially when you take into account that this particular spirit was created as homage to the oldest jewels in the British Isles: the Honours of Scotland. If its richness in flavor wasn’t enough, the jewels gracing the outside of the bottle may be just enough to sway you. Royal Salute cannot help but boast about how the bottle is embedded with 413 white and black diamonds, and 22 carats worth of gemstones that are all set in either gold or silver. At that point, who can possibly blame them?
8. Dalmore 62 – $200,000 – $215,000
While no one may know why it’s called the Dalmore 62, it sure has gotten a lot of media coverage. The sheer rarity of this single-malt scotch whisky is enough to account for a pretty penny, especially when you consider that there were only 12 bottles made. But somewhere in the $200,000 range seems a little excessive, don’t you think? But, rest assured, that it wasn’t always like that. Just like the nature of any good investment, the value of the product has risen substantially over the past decade, which then resulted in the price jumping almost $150,000 between its initial release in 2001 and when the last bottle was sold in 2011. Sure, a lot of people haven’t actually tasted the spirit but apparently it’s absolutely phenomenal, which means that at least you’re paying for more than just a pretty decanter. Even so, it is hand blown and contains a 12-point stag head made up of platinum, meaning that this Dalmore made up of single-malt scotch whiskeys from 1868, 1876, 1926 and 1939 is pretty spectacular on the outside (as well as on in the inside).
7. Armand de Brignac Midas – $215,000
Armand de Brignac has never been a cheap bottle of champagne, but their Midas variation of this elite brand goes above and beyond what is typically considered to be an expensive bottle of alcohol. Contained in a metal bottle from the neck downward, this 30-litre vat is also so large that the accumulated pressure will probably force you to pop the cork using all of your hand strength – while someone else holds it from the bottom! Then again, when you find out that the brand was bought out by singer and entrepreneur Jay-Z in 2013 and the bottle was designed by a 14-year-old Flavor Flav, the extreme nature of it all starts to make a little more sense.
6. Macallan 64 Year Old in Lalique – $460,000
As if breaking the record for the most expensive bottle of single-malt whisky wasn’t enough, the weight of this particular bottle is just mind blowing! With there only being four of these in the world, as well as having a decanter make of a lot of crystals, it is seemingly obvious that this would be an expensive bottle of whisky. But who knew that the numbers would go that high? Then again, when you find out that the empty decanter weighs close to 25 pounds, and each one took over 17 craftsmen and 50 hours to create, maybe $625,000 doesn’t seem so extreme after all.
5. The Macallan ‘M’ Six Litre In Lalique – $628,000
While Macallan’s 64 year old single malt whiskey may not be the most popular beverage that the brand has ever developed, it sure is one of their most costly ones. Having been a combined effort between Macallan and Lalique, a big crystal developer, they celebrated the 150th birthday of René Lalique, a crystal artisan, in a very special way. This project was put into motion as a means to generate funds for charity, which aims to bring clean drinking water to those who are not fortunate enough to have it. Thankfully, their mission was a success and the aged whisky in its mesmerizing decanter sold at a New York auction back in 2010 for a whopping $460,000!
4. Mendis Coconut Brandy – $1 million
Mendis was the first company in the world to take coconuts and transform them from the typical fruit that you see hanging from a tree into a clear liquor that was fully distilled in casks made from a special Halmilla wood. On top of that, how often do you have the opportunity to literally own a bottle that was signed, dated and numbered by the House of Mendis’ founder, WM Mendis? Then again, if you aren’t one of the lucky few who just so happened to be at the 49 Grove lounge in New York City and don’t have a million to spend on a bottle, you can always sit around and wait for a free tasting somewhere… somehow… right?
3. Diva Vodka – $1 million
So, you may be wondering what makes this particular vodka any different from those that you find at your liquor store. That is, if you are able to forget about how part of its triple-filtering process involved semi-precious stones. If that amount of bling wasn’t enough for your liking, maybe the bottle’s core made out of Swarovski crystals that are simply piled on top of one another may begin to spark your interest. Still not enough? Well, in that case, you may just want to scroll on down to the next entry.
2. Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne – $2 million
The Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne is truly one of a kind both in its contents and packaging. This particular liquor was dubbed the “DNA of all Cognac” and this is probably because of its 100-year aging process – as well as its first production date of 1776. In addition, its lavish nature is then translated into a bottle that is nothing short of royal. Dipped in 24 K gold, as well as platinum, and then shortly followed by its decoration by 6,500 brilliant diamonds, you really do get what you pay for with this special treat. Besides, it’s not every day that you can say that you own something forged by the hands of Henri IV’s descendants, so a couple million seems like a reasonable price to fulfill such an opportunity— don’t you think?
1. Pasión Azteca, Platinum Liquor Bottle by Tequila Ley – $3 million
Distantly related to the Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champage due to their connections with Ley .925, their remarkably similar bottles and extreme price tag are where the similarities between these two drinks stop. Mirroring all that is extreme, the container holding the fermented liquid is fashioned using white gold and platinum and then studded with 6,400 diamonds by the hands of CEO Fernando Altamirano! So, if you’re looking to splurge on a four-year-old drink made from blue agave that is fermented to perfection, then this is the drink for you. Besides, a party is never complete without some sort of over the top element, so this wonderful Anejo tequila will do just fine.