Seven of the most luxurious cocktails in the world
There’s a crucial difference between a cocktail that’s expensive and a cocktail that’s luxurious. And when it comes to the priciest cocktails in the world, mixologists have two ways of thinking.
The dedicated mixologist curates the most distinguished and exotic ingredients and blends them to create a genuinely prestigious drink – that’s a luxurious cocktail, featuring liquor from Napoleonic times or dusted with exotic extras like dinosaur bone and moon-dust (perhaps).
The less-adventurous mixologist thinks expensive equals luxury, so they pour out a glass of champagne and drop a diamond in it.
Both types of cocktails are expensive, but you’d agree only one is actually luxurious.
As ambassadors for Kuala Lumpur’s highest luxury rooftop bar, our award-winning mixologists here at Marini’s on 57 pride themselves on their dedication to the craft. Pushing the boundaries of luxury they created Marini’s Bloody Mary as part of the rich tradition of signature cocktails.
Crafted with handmade vodka from Absolut Elyx, freshly-grilled tomato juice, fresh lemon juice and featuring Mediterranean Mix Caviar and lashings of garlic basil foam, at RM300 (£60) this exquisite cocktail is perfect for the most luxurious of hangovers.
Here are seven of the most luxurious cocktails from around the world, as well as a few that are merely expensive. You’ll notice the difference, we’re sure.
1) The Gigi’s in London, England – £9,000
The Gigi’s in London, England – £9,000
- 1990 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime
- 1888 Samalens Vieille Relique Vintage Bas Armagnac
Inspired by a visit from Grace Jones (seriously), this champagne cocktail features an Armagnac that survived two world wars and Cristal that pre-dates the internet. Angostura bitters and brown sugar bring the flavour and lashings of gold leaf bring the bling.
2) The Winston in Melbourne, Australia – £8,000
The Winston in Melbourne, Australia – £8,000
- Grand Marnier Quintessence
- Chartreuse Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolonge.
- 1858 Croizet cognac
Officially the world’s most expensive cocktail, The Winston features an 1858 Croizet Cognac dating back to Napoleonic times (Croizet was Napoleon’s chief sommelier), which the bar sells as a single for £4,000 a measure. The 1858 Croizet is one of the few last surviving bottles of the Napoleonic batch, hence a £100k price-tag.
Legend has it General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill plotted the liberation of Europe over a bottle of Croizet Cognac smuggled out of Occupied France.
The Winston is complemented with a dusting of chocolate nutmeg, poppy seed, rose essence and coconut shavings. Angostura Bitters, a common ingredient in most expensive cocktails, also featured.
3) Salvatore’s Legacy in London, England – £5,500
Salvatore’s Legacy in London, England – £5,500
- 1778 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac
- 1770 kümmel liqueur
- 1860 Dubb Orange Curaçao
Phylloxera was a viral strain in plants that destroyed the French cognac industry in the mid-19th century and created what has become an exclusive line of vintage and incredibly-rare “pre-phylloxera” cognacs that sell at a premium.
Salvatore’s Legacy was a cocktail created by famous London mixologist Salvatore Calabrese using the finest pre-phylloxera cognacs. Salvatore’s Legacy literally uses the oldest cognacs and liquors dating from the French and American Revolutions and the voyage of Captain Cook to Australia almost 250 years ago.
Even the angostura bitters (ever-present in the world’s most expensive cocktails) is taken from a batch created in the early 1900s. That’s dedication.
4) Ritz-Paris Sidecar in Paris, France – £1,000
Ritz-Paris Sidecar in Paris, France – £1,000
- 1865 Ritz Fine Champagne Cognac
Another pre-phylloxera cognac that survived both world wars after it was hidden by German soldiers during the Occupation of France, the cocktail appears at Bar Hemingway and is served simply with just a little cointreau and lemon juice.
5) Kentucky Derby Mint Julep, Kentucky, USA – £700
Kentucky Derby Mint Julep, Kentucky, USA – £700
The first on our list not to feature pre-phylloxera cognac, the Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville includes a Woodford Reserve Bourbon that dates back to a brewery built during the American Independence. It also features mint home-grown in Louisville and chilled with ice collected from an Alaskan glacier that formed 10,000 years ago.
This is also the first cocktail that walks the line between luxurious and premium, served as it is in a silver Tiffany cup, which inflates the price-tag.
6) Ono Champagne Cocktail, Las Vegas, USA – £7,000
Ono Champagne Cocktail, Las Vegas, USA – £7,000
- Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac (~$90,000 per bottle),
- Charles Heidsieck 1981 Champagne Charlie
Although Las Vegas can be a bit cheesy, this cocktail actually uses incredibly good ingredients. Another five-figure cognac from the 19th century is accentuated with an ’81 champagne brought over by “Champagne Charlie” himself, all served together with apricot puree, rose essence and fresh orange juice. A fine tipple.
7) The Diamond Is Forever Martini, Tokyo, Japan – £12,000
This cocktail’s pretty fun, and probably worth the price-tag even though it’s only made with Grey Goose vodka. You pay extra for the live band playing the James Bond theme tune as your cocktail’s served, and for the one-carat diamond they drop in the glass.
Basically, it’s a ready-made marriage proposal.
Finally, the world’s most expensive cocktails that are just packaging for diamonds and jewellery and lack any real prestige.
There’s the Ruby Rose Cocktail from Maine, USA, which costs £28,000 and features a four-carat ruby, the £35,000 Flawless at Movida in London, which features an 11-carat diamond ring at the bottom of the glass, and the Pangaea in Singapore, guarded by five bodyguards when it’s served and featuring that ubiquitous diamond.
Our mixologists argue that it’s best to stay away from the diamonds and rubies and concentrate on the ingredients that really go into the cocktail itself. And remember the two perfect accompaniments to any premium cocktail – good company and a great view.