With all the hubub about the Presidential beer summit lately, we got to thinking about the perfect drinks we’d like to represent ourselves: made men. But, when diving into the glitzy, twinkling interiors of high rolling restaurants fully equipped with waitstaffs whose serving suits trump your finest, Sunday attire, prepare to drag the depths of your bank accounts along. Yes, even when purchasing even a single drink. If you thought the Guinness Book of World Records stopped at the man’s most tattooed face and the woman’s longest (nastiest?) fingernails – think again. Guinness World Records also breed a highly competitive contest amidst the most expensive drinks of the world. If you thought a weekend in New York, doling out twenty dollars per glass unfairly robbed you, reevaluate your strength to peruse some truly pricey (dare we say puzzling) distillations, you’ll want to forget the next morning. That is, until during hangover hour – when you realize the total sum of a singular liquid indulgence could have bought you a brand new house.
The Richest Brew
Two waiters are required to pour out pints of Vielle Bon Secours, which arrives in an overwhelmingly heavy (expensive to make) glass bottle. This ‘worlds most expensive brew’ can be found at only one bar in London, known as the Bierdome, whose manager, Mack Plumpton, describes it as a candidate for “large groups and specialists – people who buy the beer for the enjoyment factor.” So, in the case that you can find a large group or brewery specialist interested in dishing out $1,000 dollars a bottle (containing 26 pints), you’re a candidate. Otherwise, you can persuade yourself to spend $78 dollars on a single pint and kick yourself when, at glass’s bottom, you’re not half as drunk as you would have hoped and just that much deeper in the hole.
By The Bottle – Tequilas, Rums, Whiskeys and Cognacs, Oh My.
Infamous for its stellar sweep of the first European Rum Festival’s title “Most Expensive Rum of All Time,” the Wray and Nephew Rum was first bottled in 1940, distilled by some crazy Jamaicans. Initially only one of four bottles, this rum became increasingly rare due to the overabundance of Mai Tai cocktails and stands at the last remaining of the first batch bottled (if it hasn’t already been sucked up at an auction by some brilliantly rich Euro-god wearing linen, summer pants and aviators). This Wray and Nephew rum runs at $54,000 more American dollars than any hardworking person has to spare, unless you’re working for the mafia.
People who buy this kind of whiskey consider the word spelled with an omitted ‘e’ and drinkers ignorant of this fact, undeserving of its powers. That said, whatever you call it, The Macallan 1926 currently holds the title of most expensive whiskey at $75,000 a bottle after spending a minimum of three years maturing in an oak cask in Scotland. The Macallan collection features an armload of single malt scotch whiskies highly revered, costing more than all your organs combined, put on ice and sold at the local black market.
Served in an elaborate, gold and platinum plated bottle shaped like an exotic seashell, Ultra Premium Tequila Ley .925 snags the highest price ever paid for a bottle of tequila – $225,000. Fernando Altamirano, CEO of Hacienda La Capilla Distillery in Los Altos, Jalisco who is responsible for the triple distilled mix of 8-, 10- and 12-year-old agave plants, refuses to reveal the provenance in which the liquors’ aging barrels reside. All in all, this agave descendant assumes the role of a mysteriously mythical-looking potion worth the price of a ticket to Hogwarts Castle. But, unfortunately, filled with a beloved magic which fades nightly.
With a bottle of handmade crystal, dipped in 24k gold and sterling platinum, encrusted with 6,500 cut diamonds, Henri IV Dudognon Heritage is not only the king of cognacs, but officially the most expensive alcohol in the world. Aged for a time rivaling grandma (i.e. 100 years) in barrels air dried for five preceding years, this 82 proof (41% alcohol), is packaged by jeweler Jose Davalos, with a bottle intended to seduce buyers in Dubai. Fortunately, the company has decided to take pity on the little people, producing three smaller, less expensive bottles of the same cognac. Unfortunately, the company considers ‘little people’ experts and independent collectors privileged to purchase from the limited release and not corner bar enthusiasts slurping jack-and-cokes. (For the record, we are perfectly fine with corner bar jack and cokes).
By The Glass – Four Drams to Drown In
At the ultra-lounge, Mezz, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut, America puts herself on the map as a contender for housing one of the flashiest cocktail-and-jewel combinations – the Sapphire Martini. The $3,000 martini is described by Mezz’s manager, Donna Wing, as "a classic martini made with Bombay Sapphire gin (or the client’s choice of premium vodka), blue curacao and a dash of dry vermouth." Get this – not only is the Mezz drink menu handed to clients in a leather-bound necklace case, the Sapphire Martini itself bears a garnish consisting of a sterling-silver pick supporting platinum-mounted, diamond and sapphire earrings. Talk about getting more for your money. The folks down at Mezz know you’ll need more than magnificent intoxication to recover from the spending required here.
As if drinking ambrosia from a treasure chest, the Diamond Cocktail, served at London’s Sheraton Park Tower Hotel Piano Bar, is a champagne cocktail dressed to amaze. Compiled of Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2001 champagne, Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac (a blend of dazzlingly expensive other cognacs), three drops of angostura bitters (natural herbs & spices), the Diamond Cocktail is poured a over sugar cube and the client’s choice of diamonds or rubies. Choosing a 0.6 carat diamond gets you a $4,350 drink. But if that’s not steep enough for you, select a more impressive stone and the price can scratch the sacred $16,000 range most of us dare never dream of. (Well, okay. We dream about it. Often.)
The Ritz Side Car
The trophy wife of Guinness World Records cocktail category, the Ritz Side Car is named after its glorious creator, Cesar Ritz, who himself served at Bar Hemingway in the Paris Ritz during the 1920’s. The classic Side Car contains cognac, Cointreau, a drop of freshly squeezed lemon juice, shaken and served in martini glass. A considerable bargain thus far, priced at $515, the Side Car gains its accolades from its resource of Ritz Reserve grapevines, litters of which were destroyed during a pestilence of aphid-like, American insects in the 1860’s. Assistant to Bar Hemingway’s head bartender, Christophe Leger, notes that when endeavoring to indulge in a Ritz Side Car – “You are tasting history.” FUTURE NOTE: Taste of history = $515
Martini on the Rock
The mother of all Martinis, Martini on the Rock offers a starting price of $10,000. Its prideful home, the Blue Bar at the Algonquin Hotel, serves the delectable drink with a single piece of ice and a diamond from the in-house jeweler. A crisp combination of gin and vermouth, garnished with an olive or sliver of lemon peel, Martini on the Rock was coined by American journalist, H.L Mencken as ‘the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.” We’d like to think it’s more perfect, because the martini helps a man to write a damn sonnet. BEWARE: If you think making reservations for a restaurant 24 hours in advance is irritating, this drink order requires a three day warning arranged with the Bader & Garrin jewelers. But, we’re guessing you’ll probably need at least three days to find an irrelevant $10,000 anyway.