There’s nothing quite like a delicious signature cocktail. After a long week or a glorious day, many would agree that one of the best ways to unwind is to sit in an inspired atmosphere, sipping a smooth, expertly crafted cocktail. Now, you may head to your local pub or even your favourite lounge for that, “end of the week” feeling, but where might you be tempted to go if funds were unlimited? What if you could go anywhere in the world for a deluxe drink, prepared with care over days and days, with ingredients like premium alcohols, gold, rubies and diamonds. It’s time to grab your passport, and a party outfit to explore wildly expensive (and inventive) cocktails from around the globe.
9 The Ritz-Paris Sidecar: Paris, France $1,670
Bar Hemingway in Paris, France is a not just a bar, it’s a historical site. A World War II survivor, this bar, and its workers remained true to their craft by continuing to bottle fine champagne and cognac throughout the war, never to be destroyed by the many German soldiers who frequented this place at the time. The Ritz-Paris Sidecar is a blend of Cointreau, lemon juice, fine Champagne and Cognac and takes taste buds on a sophisticated tour down memory lane. All things considered, the $1,670 price tag almost makes this relic a bargain.
8 City of Lights: Las Vegas, USA $2,000
Definitely not one to be left behind, Light Nightclub in Las Vegas has also established a series of high-priced cocktails to cash in on gamblers’ delight. The City of Lights is a classy cocktail served only at the Cirque du Soleil nightclub. The cocktail is a perfect combination of Hennessy Paradis Imperial, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, bulleit Rye, Benedictine, flavored bitters and Rosé champagne from Dom Pérignon. This high end cocktail is served over ice shaped like diamonds and added for a final touch is an orange peel garnish. The drink’s creator Michael Monrreal is a believer in using only premium alcohols and created this drink with high-rollers and Vegas elite in mind.
7 Macallan Single Malt Whiskey: Dubai, United Arab Emirates $4,000
This drink is straight up, to the point. No fancy essence, no curated juices or spices and no jewellery. One of only 420 bottles in the world, Skyview Bar in the swank Dubai of the United Arab Emirates, is said to be serving from bottle number 287. This 55 year old scotch is stored and poured from a sparkling crystal Lalique decanter to anyone with $4,000, for a mere 30 ml. If you’re looking for the same scotch in a gold plated glass you’re too late—those sold out just last year.
6 Salvatore’s’ Legacy: London, UK $8,316
Meet Salvatore Calabrese, aka “The Maestro”, an award winning mixologist to the stars, and world famous bartender. No regular barman of course, Calabrese has been mixing flavours since his boyhood at bars and clubs around the globe. With a special soft spot for perfectly assembled classic cocktails, he now resides at his very own bar, Salvatore at Playboy in London. Patrons of the Mayfair-based watering hole can enjoy the suitably named, Salvatore’s Legacy cocktail. The former world record holder for most expensive drink, this $8,316 includes but four ingredients; a 1778 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, 1770 kümmel liqueur, circa-1860, Dubb Orange Curaçao and two dashes of Angostura Bitters salvaged from the early 1900s. A fine cocktail served in an extravagant bar packed with books, glassware and cocktail, making paraphernalia—patrons are sure to be impressed whilst sipping away their money.
5 Vegas Ono Champagne Cocktail: Las Vegas, USA $10,000
For those seeking a truly excessive Las Vegas experience, head over to Club XS and order the Vegas Ono Cocktail. A vibrant mixture of Luis XIII Black Pearl Cognac (bottles of which run upwards of $90,000) paired with Charles Heidsieck 1981 Champagne Charlie, fresh orange juice, apricot puree and Sence Rose Nectar. Additionally, the drink comes with a gold, diamond and pearl necklace, along with a set of gold cuff links, designed for both men and women, this drink gives gamblers a truly proper way to celebrate their winnings (or lament their losses) in America’s city of sin.
4 Diamond is Forever Martini: New York City, USA $10,000
What better place than the home of Tiffany’s flagship shop, to serve a diamond inspired cocktail? Served out of the historic Upper East side of New York City, Bar Uncorked, this $10,000 jewel infused martini contains a one of a kind, custom made diamond engagement ring. Before happy hour, grooms-to-be can meet with a jewelry consultant to design and build their custom made piece, in as little as 72 hours in advance. Between the ring and the fine alcohol, this one is sure to end with a “yes”.
3 The Winston: Australia $12,000
In February of 2013, Club 23 in Melbourne Australia launched, The Winston. Taking its name sake from Sir Winston Churchill himself, the cocktail hinges on inclusion of two jiggers of the former prime ministers' favourite Croizet Cognac. Corked nearly 160 years ago in 1858, bottles of Croizet typically sell at this particular bar for around $6,000 an ounce. Sippers of The Winston take the Prime Minister’s cognac with some Gran Marnier Quintessence, Chartreuse VEP (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé) and Agoustura Bitters. But wait! Before the Winston hits your glass, the Barman will bathe it in an essence of dry ice, carefully infused with citrus rind and spices. This carefully crafted concoction sells for $12,000 and requires nearly two full days to prepare. Savor it, folks.
2 Ruby Rose Cocktail: Kennebunk, USA $40,000
To mark their 40th anniversary, the exclusive White Barn Inn in Kennebunk Maine, created The Ruby Rose. A delicate mixture of Hanger One Vodka, flower infused St-Germain, fresh grapefruit juice and rose water, the Ruby Rose sounds simply unremarkable. And it kind of is. Until their 40th anniversary, patrons of the White Barn bar would pay a reasonable $20 for the drink. The difference? The celebratory edition is garnished with a princess cut, four-carat red ruby. Be sure not to swallow the gem after a few too many.
1 Flawless: London UK $58,000
The Movida Nightclub in London, England is a popular hangout for the who’s-who of England. To cater to their ever growing celebrity fan base, club owners created a flawless bubbly mixture of Cristal Rose Champagne, Louis XII cognac, Angostura Bitters and a few flakes of 24-carat edible gold leaf. But don’t drink the $58,000 champagne delight too quickly, lest you ingest the 11-carat white diamond ring waiting at the bottom of the glass. The pricey libation comes complete with two massive security guards who watch over the cocktail from preparation to consumption. Club Movida is said to be one of the world’s biggest suppliers of Don Perignon and is always searching for ways to spoil their wealthy guests.