Nothing says a “bit of luxury” like a cocktail. But how far can these glasses of luxury go? Cocktails have been with us as far as the eighteenth century, defying the laws of nature by mixing the best and worst of drinks together with other assortments into a single glass. They make the night not only pleasing, but also colorful and more vibrant. We definitely have to pay the price for a fine cocktail, but some of the world’s best demand hundreds and thousands of dollars for an elite, unique selection. Listed below are the top ten most expensive cocktails to date.
10 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep - Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, KY ($1,000)
The Mint Julep has been a tradition of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs for almost a century. Served in a silver Tiffany & Co glass, special Woodford Reserve bourbon is mixed together with Moroccan mint, sugar from the South Pacific and ice that is said to be from the Arctic Circle.
9 Original Mai Tai - Merchant Hotel ($1,270)
The Mai Tai comes from the Tahitian word “maita’i" which means “good”. So far, there isn’t a Mai Tai as good—or as expensive—as the one served at the Merchant Hotel. The drink of Polynesian setting that originated from Trader Vic’s in 1944 is replicated at Merchant Hotel using the same and extremely rare J. Ray & Nephew’s rum. It is added with French Garnier Orgeat, Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao, rocky candy syrup, and fresh lime juice. The Original Mai Tai is especially famous for the words of Carrie Guild, friend of Victor J. Bergeron (Trader Vic): “Maita’i roa ae!” which translates to “Out of this world! The best!”
8 Platinum Passion - The Duvet, New York City, New York ($1,500)
Dubbed as one of New York’s most expensive cocktails, the Duvet’s signature Platinum Passion is a mixture of Ruinart Champagne, syrup that uses an assortment of berries, passion fruit, honey and brown sugar, and L’esprit de Courvoisier (roughly $6,000/bottle). The drink is known for being served in a frosted champagne flute with an orchid on top of the drink.
7 Ritz-Paris Sidecar - Bar Hemingway, Hotel Ritz-Paris, France ($1,670)
The Hotel Ritz-Paris is famous not only for being considered the founder of sidecar cocktails, but also boasting the most expensive sidecar to date. The Ritz-Paris sidecar blends Cointreau and lemon juice with the exquisite champagne Cognac bottled between years 1830 and 1870, around the time of World War II.
6 Sapphire Martini - Foxwoods Resort Casino, Connecticut ($3,000)
The Sapphire Martini became one of Foxwoods Resort Casino’s signature drinks in 2006. The expensive blue drink consists of Bombay Sapphire Gin, dry vermouth, orange flavored liquor dyed blue, and blended with blue sugar surrounding the rim of the glass. Its original price of $24 hiked up to $3,000 for its fame and, more importantly, a set of sapphire and diamond earrings with each glass.
5 Macallan Single Malt Whiskey - Skyview Bar, Bur Al Arab, Dubai ($4,000)
Macallan is said to be derived from the Gaelic Words “magh” and “ellan” which mean fertile ground and “of St. Fillian”, an Irish monk who spread Christianity in Great Scotland. Exceptionally unique, there are only around 420 bottles left of the 55-year old Macallan single malt scotch to date, and the Skyview Bar in Dubai has “the 287th bottle” making it the fifth most expensive cocktail. Originally, the Skyview Bar sold the same scotch in a gold-plated glass for a cocktail that amounted to $7,400, but was eventually sold out.
4 Diamond Cocktail - Sheraton Park Hotel, London ($4,350)
The Diamond Cocktail is famous for its distinct flavor and also for the stone that is placed at the bottom of the drink. It uses a blend of cognacs where some may cost more than $1,000 per bottle. It uses Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2001 Champagne, Remy Louis Martin XIII cognac, Angostura bitters, and a sugar cube. The Sheraton Park Hotel’s pride may vary in price depending on the size and quality of the gem inside the drink. When it comes to the stone, the buyer also has the choice of choosing between a diamond or a ruby.
3 Martini on the Rock - Algonquin Hotel, New York ($10,000)
The Algonquin Hotel in New York stands out as having been the domain for the Algonquin Roundtable, which includes the literary highlights of Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and Harold Ross among many others. It is now notable for its Martini on the Rock, which needs a 72-hour reservation and consultation with the hotel jeweler for the diamond, which will be added to the drink. The Martini on the Rock is mostly used for special occasions, especially proposals. Preparing the drink takes a lot of effort and can range as high as $15,000 or even more. On the bright side, you can sell the diamond afterwards if not given as a gift.
2 Ono Champagne Cocktail - Encore Wynn, Las Vegas ($10,000)
The Ono Champagne is expensive in terms of its contents - the jewel-encrusted glass is served with an 18-karat gold necklace. Las Vegas’ Ono Champagne Cocktail is made from the rare Charles Heidsieck Champagne from 1981, the extremely rare Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac that costs up to $90,000/bottle, fresh orange juice, Sence rose nectar, apricot, and two ice cubes.
1 Diamonds are Forever - Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, Japan ($22,600)
The Ritz-Carlton of Tokyo City is considered “the sky’s limit”. Aside from the hotel’s soaring height, the hotel managed to create the most expensive martini in the world. The Diamonds are Forever cocktail is a blend of Grey Goose vodka with a lime twist and a high quality, flawless, one-carat diamond that costs as much as $16,000. There have only been two glasses of this cocktail sold to date. However, the Diamonds are Forever still stands its ground as the most expensive cocktail and one of the most stylish, at that.
Together, these drinks make the list of the most expensive cocktails in the world. Whether or not the price may fit them, they most definitely have made their mark in the world for their class and individuality.