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High Class Hangovers

World's Most Expensive Cocktails

— April 15, 2007 — Lifestyle
Today's elite have turned to cocktail mixologists to unwind. It is no longer enough to buy outrageously priced bottles of pink champagne or fine scotches.

The world's most expensive cocktail, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is sold at the opulent Merchant Hotel in Belfast. For $1,400, patrons of the hotel bar can indulge in luxurious Mai Tais. That's the same price as a vacation in Tahiti!

The bar manager, Sean Muldoon, says the secret lies in 17-year-old J. Wray Nephew rum from Jamaica. “The presentation may seem like nothing, but I believe what we have here is something very, very special. This is history in a bottle.” A rare piece of history too; the bottle is locked in the hotel safe at night and is the only one (out of six bottles) in existence available to the public.

Donovan Bar in London's Rocco Forte's Brown's Hotel serves up sumptuous drinks to their posh customers too. Bar manager Antonio Dandrea explains, “People are always looking for something different; something they can't find anywhere else.” Like the 48-hours-soaked-in-premium-vodka black truffles paired with his $100 truffle martini? That sounds about right.

Not a big cocktail fan? Don't dispair; mixologists will cater to your classy demands too. Before the Mai Tai was ranked world's priciest drink, the Ritz sidecar held first place. The 1865 Ritz Reserve cognac drink can be sipped exclusively at Paris' Hotel Ritz.

You have to wonder what kind of tips these bar tenders brings home at the end of the night.

Want to really woo your woman? Brace yourself for the ultimate glamour drink: Algonquin Hotel's “Martini-On-The-Rock.” That singular rock would be a 1.52-carat diamond. It's also the reason your hotel bill just rose $10,000. Other bars serve their drinks with solid-gold swizzle sticks or rubies in place of maraschino cherries.

The bar manager at New York's London Hotel thinks it's all a little ridiculous. “I may as well serve a cocktail on top of a mink coat and call it my $20,000 sidecar,” says Duncan Halden. Willing to keep guests happy, he serves up $550 sidecars on request, but won't list them on the menu.

It's no wonder the rich stay so thin; it would cost a fortune to grow a booze belly on fancy sippers like these ones.