Sunday, October 08, 2006

Martini, Shaken, With a Side of Diamonds

Yes, I'd like a Cosmo with a side of rubies, please.

Well, who wouldn't? Gah! The rich are insane, people. Obviously they have WAY too much money if they now need to embellish their drinks with jewels because just sipping a cocktail made with premium liquor is not glamorous enough.

I just read an article about the most expensive cocktails served in the world (to the richest asshats in the world.)

The English are pouring a "Diamond Cocktail" in the Piano Bar at London's Sheraton Park Tower Hotel. The drink is a champagne cocktail featuring Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2001 champagne and Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac (a blend of cognacs — some of which are more than 125 years old — that retails for $1,750 per bottle) mixed with three drops of angostura bitters and poured over a sugar cube and your choice of diamonds or rubies. Selecting a 0.6 carat diamond will produce a £2,300 ($4,350) drink, "but we could go up to £10,000 if a customer would like to choose such a gemstone" says the bar's assistant manager, Theodore Garcia.

Of course, the United States is perfectly capable of mixing a rich drink. At Mezz, an "ultralounge" at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut, the premium drinks menu offers a $3,000 "Sapphire Martini," which is "a classic martini made with Bombay Sapphire gin (or the client's choice of premium vodka), blue curaçao and a dash of dry vermouth." The glass is rimmed with blue sugar and a garnish that consists of a sterling-silver pick holding a pair of platinum-mounted diamond and sapphire earrings.

The Guinness World Record holder for the world's most expensive cocktail: the Ritz Side Car served at Bar Hemingway in the Paris Ritz. This one doesn't even come with jewels! The classic side car recipe is followed: cognac, Cointreau and a drop of freshly squeezed lemon juice, shaken and served in a martini glass.

But the magic lies in the hotel's astonishing store of cognac, the 1830 Ritz Reserve. "This drink provides an opportunity to taste something that no longer exists," says Christophe Léger, assistant to Mr. Field, "the cognac of vines that predate the phylloxera plague."

In the 1860s, a pestilence of aphidlike insects from America wiped out many of France's finest grapevines, and only a handful of bottles of the Ritz Reserve remain. "So you are tasting history," Leger says, "Eighteen-thirty is Napoleon." In the past three years, roughly 60 patrons have agreed that $515 is a bargain for tasting the zenith of French glory.

So there you have it - snobbery at it's liquid finest!

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