Can I Buy You a Drink? The Most Expensive Cocktails in the World

As the holidays approach, we inevitably turn our thoughts to the task of gift-giving. With that in mind, as we get into the holiday "spirit," we thought it would be fun to inspire your gift-giving by starting you off with descriptions of some of the world's most insanely expensive spirits and outrageously concocted cocktails.
Now, bear in mind, there are really two ways to create a crazy expensive drink: You can use expensive ingredients, or you can combine those ingredients with ridiculously expensive items, like cut crystal, diamonds, and gold. We'd like to focus on the former (the pure "cocktails") but there are some truly nutso examples of the latter, which we just can't not tell you about.



The most outrageously ostentatious and decidedly decadent bottle of whisky in the world is Isabella's Islay Whisky, which sells for about $6 million. The liquid contents of this bottle are basically beside the point: The container is an English cut-crystal bottle encrusted with 8,500 diamonds and 300 rubies. You might be thinking, "Why even put anything in bottle at all?" Good question.

Is $6 million too rich for your blood? Well, for about a third of the cost of an Isabella, you could snag a bottle of Macallan 1926—that goes for about $1.9 million per bottle. This package—by the way—is pretty much just a bottle.

Not ready to spend millions on your holiday cocktails? No problem. For $10,000, the Ono cocktail at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas includes a pair of gold cufflinks and an 18-karat gold necklace with a black pearl and diamond. Each sip of this drink costs about $1,000; among other things, it's made with Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1981 and Rémy Martin's Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac.

If you go to the heart of London's Mayfair district, you can find a more affordable cocktail at the Playboy Club. They serve a drink made from 1778 Clos de Griffier Vieux cognac, 1770 Kummel liqueur, Dubb Orange Curacao circa 1860, and two dashes of Angostura bitters from the 1900s. This concoction, known as Salvatore's Legacy, will only set you back about $7,000. Does that come with a dish of nuts, do you think?

The world's most expensive cocktail is listed as the Diamonds Are Forever Martini, which costs $22,579 and is served at the top of Tokyo's tallest hotel, the Ritz Carlton. The martini is a simple mix of Absolut Elyx Vodka, and lime juice. That's it. Oh, and they garnish it with a $16,000 one-carat diamond. That's cheating, really. Without the diamond, that cocktail would be a very reasonable $6,579.
For $5,000, you can get a L'Imperial at the bar at the Baccarat Hotel in New York City. It's a riff on the classic gin cocktail The Last Word, and it uses Green Chartreuse that dates back to the early 1920s. It also uses Nolet Reserve Gin, which goes for $100 per shot, a cherrywood-aged maraschino liqueur ($50 an ounce) and a gold leaf-dipped cherry. All that comes in a diamond-infused Baccarat cocktail glass that is yours to keep once the cocktail is consumed. Again, you're basically buying a cocktail glass, even though it comes filled with a few ounces of some pretty rare and valuable juice.
The Sapphire Martini they serve at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut used to be a $24 cocktail. At some point, someone decided to put it on the menu with a side of sapphire and diamond earrings. Now it's $3,000. Served in a traditional martini glass, this Sapphire Martini is made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Blue Curacao, dry vermouth, and is coated with blue sugar on the rim.

If you dispense with all the high-end serving vessels and luxury paraphernalia, some expensive cocktails actually just utilize legit expensive ingredients. The Vintage Negroni, served up at bar Maybe Sammy in Sydney Australia, is one of those cocktails. For $110, you can get a super-premium Negroni made with Gordon’s Dry Gin from the 1970s, Campari from the 1970s, and 1960s Carpano Vermouth. Now that's more within the realm of the reasonable.
Starting around $200 a glass, the Atlas Bar in Singapore will serve you a Vintage Martini, which can be made from a selection of gins that span many decades, from the 1990s all the way back to the early 20th century. The farther back in time the gin goes, the higher the price goes.
We hope this little roundup of ridiculously rich beverage fare has amused and inspired you to at least up your cocktail-ingredient game for the holidays. And remember, not all great spirits are outrageously expensive. A bottle of ​Batch 22, after all, is still around $40 or so. (You could buy 150,000 bottles for the price of one diamond-and-ruby encrusted bottle of Isabella Islay Whisky.)