On first going out for drinks in Los Angeles or New York, the cocktails seem expensive: $11, $16, even $25 for the fanciest. But if you are not satisfied with a double-digit delight, is it possible to spend more? I assure you it is: much more, in fact, with cocktails in the four or even five digits. But you’ve got to seek them out: from the Kentucky Derby to the historic Algonquin, these drinks are rare, unique, and fabulously expensive.
9. Kentucky Derby Mint Julep – $1,000
Every year at the Kentucky Derby more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the race. To put that into perspective for you, that’s more than 1,000 pounds of mint alone! However, the true gem of the race is too expensive for even many of the race goers to afford—the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep. What sets this drink above the rest? The biggest difference is the silver Tiffany & Co glass that the drink is served in. The liquid itself is made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Moroccan mint, sugar from the South Pacific, and to top it off, ice from the Arctic Circle. This is definitely not your average run-of-the-mill racehorse Mint Julep.
8. Original Mai Tai – $1,270
We’ve all had Mai Tais from our neighborhood bar, but not very many people can lay claim to having drank the original Mai Tai. Belfast’s Merchant Hotel Mai Tai is unlike any other tropical drink that you’ve ever had, because it’s the original recipe. The drink originated in 1944 from Trader Vic’s, and the Merchant Hotel is the only place on the planet using the same original rum that was used in 1944. Mai Tai, the original Polynesian word being “maita’i” translates to “good” in English, and surely there is no Mai Tai on the planet as good as this original creation at the Merchant Hotel.
7. Platinum Passion – $1,500
The Platinum Passion is one of New York City’s most expensive drink, the diamond in the rough among many pricy and wonderful cocktails, surely. Introduced on Valentine’s Day in 2005, this drink is served at Duvet, a bed-themed bar. That means that you can drink this luxurious cocktail in what is already one of the world’s most luxurious places—a bed. So what’s in a Platinum Passion? Ruinart Champagne, passion fruit, honey, brown sugar, and L’esprit de Courvoisier, that sells for around $6,000 a bottle.
6. Ritz-Paris Sidecar – $1,670
The Sidecar cocktail originated at the Hotel Ritz-Paris, so it’s no surprise that this hotel also claims the most expensive Sidecar in the world, and one of the top ten most expensive drinks in the world. This exquisite drink is made with Cognac, bottled between 1830 and 1870, making it one of the oldest alcohols on the planet as well.
5. Sapphire Martini – $3,000
The world’s elite can both gamble their money away and drink their money away at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut with this one-of-a-kind martini. Originally priced at just $24, as this drink gained more worldwide fame, the management apparently decided to hike up the price of luxury to $3,000. Of course, it’s not just the fame that increased this drink’s cost by thousands of dollars. The Sapphire Martini lives up to its name because it’s served with a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings on the side.
4. Diamond Cocktail – $4,350
London’s Sheraton Park Hotel’s Diamond Cocktail lives up to its name: it’s served with a real diamond inside of the drink. The recipe is made up of a blend of individual cognacs costing in the $1,000 range per bottle. Anyone who purchases this drink has options when it comes to choosing the gem inside—which may vary the price of the cocktail depending on the type of stone that comes inside—and in addition to diamonds, a purchaser can even choose a ruby. To say the very least, the smooth taste of this luxurious cocktail probably isn’t half as surprising as the stone swimming around inside.
3. Martini on the Rock – $10,000
We’ve all had a Martini on the rocks, but have you ever had a Martini on the Rock? The Algonquin Hotel in New York City boasts the most expensive cocktail in all of NYC, but it’ll cost you more than a pretty penny. This cocktail comes with a diamond, making the “on the rock” a true gem of a pun. In fact, this diamond filled drink is so special that it requires a 3-day advanced reservation and an appointment with a jewelry maker. Depending on the diamond chosen the drink could cost you up to $15,000. Given the amount of effort that goes into this drink, it’s clear that it’s only for the most special of occasions, like engagements or anniversaries. Very expensive engagements or anniversaries.
2. Ono Champagne Cocktail – $10,000
One route to an expensive cocktail is high-end liquors, another is to provide it in a jewel-encrusted glass–with a gold necklace on the side. The Encore Wynn hotel in Las Vegas does just this, even using 18-karat gold. However, they don’t skip on the champagne either. Alongside the rare 1981 Charles Heidsieck champagne, $90,000 cognac–specifically the Louis XIII Black Pearl–as well as fresh orange juice, apricot juice, rose nectar. Finalized with two perfect ice cubes, this champagne cocktail is certainly Ono of a kind.
1. Diamond Is Forever – $22,600
The easiest way to one-up a cocktail that comes with 18-karat gold is to include a 1-karat diamond–precisely the contents of the cocktail at the top of this list, Diamond Is Forever from the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo. It’s a good thing too–the Grey Goose vodka does not seem like the top-of-the-line vodka one would expect at this price. On the other hand, the diamond itself will run about $16,000, so there isn’t much left over for the ingredients! Only two have been sold to date, with the price tag standing in the way of further sales one would expect. But the vodka with a lime twist and a diamond remains available in Tokyo’s tallest hotel for those willing and able–just make sure you don’t drink the diamond.