This just crossed our desk, so we thought we should put it up...
The World’s Most Expensive Cocktail
The cocktail named “27321”, was first sold on Wednesday the 16th of April 2008 at the Burg Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. The cocktail was created by Felix Hartmann, the Bar Manager at the Skyview Bar, on the 27th floor at the prestigious 7 star hotel.
The name of the cocktail represents that the Skyview Bar is on the 27th floor, each floor being double levelled and that the height of the hotel is 321 metres. The price of the drink is also in its name, with a price tag of 27,321 Dirahms, which equates to around £3650.
The cocktail which is based on an “Old Fashioned” uses the Macallan 55 Years Old Lalique, of which only 420 bottles were produced, using two casks from 1945 and 1949.
The cocktail, designed by Felix Hartmann, comprised of 60ml of the Macallan 55 Years Old, two bar spoons of a specially made bitters, one large sugar cube with a passion fruit infusion, The Macallan Bore hole water ice cubes and a stirrer made of an oak cask which had matured The Macallan and hand crafted to represent the Burg Al Arab Hotel. The cocktail was served in an 18 carat gold coated glass with the Burg Al Arab hotel logo, which the purchasers took away along with a certificate to authenticate their purchase.
Martin Murdoch, Area Director Western Europe & Middle East for The Macallan, has worked closely with MMI the local distributor and the Bar Manager Felix Hartmann, to put together this exceptional cocktail.
The cocktail was introduced to the menu on the eve of the first purchase, which was by two American businessmen on holiday, who bought one each.
Only ten of these cocktails will be made available and now that the first purchase has been witnessed, the Burg Al Arab hotel will be placing their application with the Guiness Book of World Records.
So. Expect the usual frothing about obscene displays of wealth, and a frenzy of garment-rending and general gnashing of teeth over the vulgar mug punters adulterating the precious nectar etc. etc.
This is, of course, a very old story. Go into any hotel in Speyside or Islay and you’ll hear the one about the three American (they're always American) golfers who ordered glasses of the most expensive dram in the house "two with Coke and one with ginger ale". It makes us mere mortals feel better if we can laugh at people who think nothing of dropping thousands on a single drink.
Of course, the obvious counter-argument to all this is that it doesn't matter to the men that bought the "27321" that they could have had a whole bottle of Macallan 55yo for less than what they spent on a couple of cocktails. Why should it? It's their money and their free will. Who are we to judge how they use either?
And it doesn't matter to Macallan what happens to their product after someone has paid for it. Why should it? Gold-plated glasses and applications to the Guinness Book of Records are what get the column inches. People concerned with questions of morality and dubious personal taste are unlikely to be the kind of people who would consider splurging on a Macallan Lalique.
It certainly doesn't matter to the Burg Al Arab what anyone thinks about their style. Why should it? Selling two of these cocktails pays for the bottle, and the money's in the till.
The reality here is that these tales of ludicrous cocktails come along every now and then when there’s a slow news day, and they serve a purpose for both the brands and the bars that create them.
In any case, it’s not surprising that a very high-up Macallan bigwig "worked closely" to get it set up - perhaps what’s more surprising is that this fact was included in the press release? Normally the brands do not reveal complicity in these cases, for fear of falling foul of the 'precious nectar' brigade.
For most of us, the morality of an Old-Fashioned constructed with a passionfruit sugarcube and a fabulously expensive malt whisky on the twenty-seventh floor of a seven star hotel is not something we are ever going to have to struggle with. Perhaps turning our noses up helps us get over our jealousy.