What’s the coolest restaurant trend: cocktails that range from expensive to illicit. And when it comes to an alcoholic concoction, the possibilities are endless. Here are 10 drinks that go to the head of the glass.
1. Wait for it…
When you use ingredients aged more than 200 years, you draw a pretty penny. And a crowd. On October 14, 2012, “The Maestro” Salvatore Calabrese created the world’s most expensive cocktail, valued at $8,826.95. (Other cocktails with a higher price tag owe the price to added jewels.)
Salvatore’s Legacy included a 1770 Kummel Liquor, a 1778 Clos De Griffier Viux Cognac, an 1860 Dubb Orange Curacao, and a couple of dashes of young – relatively speaking -1900’s Angostura Bitters.
2. Punch Drunk
At Bomba, a beach shack in the British Virgin Islands, the floor is sand and the walls and ceilings are patched together with pieces of washed-up driftwood and donated junk.
At his famous monthly full moon parties, owner Bomba himself serves “Mushroom Tea” and “Mushroom Punch“ and while we can only guess at the ingredients, psilocybin mushrooms do happen to be legal in BVI.
3. By the yard
At Señor Frogs, a Mexican-themed bar and grill with locations in Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and the US – including a new location in Las Vegas – patrons can take home a special memento: the novelty yard glass.
Whether it’s a yard of ale, a margarita yard, or a skinny sangria yard, guests have a way to remember their night…no matter how much they drink.
4. It better be flawless
The most expensive drink in the world is named “Flawless.” The cocktail is made from Louis XIII cognac, Cristal Rose champagne, angostura bitters and brown sugar, not to mention 24-karat flakes floating dreamily about. At the bottom is an 11 carat Flawless diamond. This prized drink, served at Movida nightclub in London, comes complete with a $54,426 price tag and two security guards.
5. From the lab-or-atory
Precise techniques and unusual ingredients like cranberry caviar or dry ice means your “drink” often comes with a spoon at Pies Czy Suka, a craft cocktail bar in Warsaw. The drinks don’t come quick, but a free show includes fig juicing or molecular foam creation, and shakers shake out imaginative creations like the Gin Basil Smash or the Chestnut Kiss.
6. Cuckoo for Coco Liqueur
At the LUV SuperLounge in Korea, patrons come for the AGWA Bomb, equal parts AGWA and energy drink. The attraction? The Agwa de Bolivia Coco Leaf Liqueur. This alcohol is made from wild Bolivian coca leaves handpicked in the Andes, formed into 4500-pound bales, and then shipped – under armed guard no less – to the Netherlands where the cocaine alkaloids are removed. Not that it matters to the guests at the LUV SuperLounge.
7. Jiminy cocktail
On the White and Church 60 – drink cocktail menu, a $14 drink named “Summer” features coconut, crème caramel and crickets. Insect cocktail enthusiasts will also find a tobacco-infused brandy topped with scorpions and a tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, avocado, red pepper and worm concoction. Why insects? “They’re very rich in protein,” says the Tribeca restaurant’s co-owner and chef Mat.
8. They’re boning up
At Prime Meats in Brooklyn, guests can order a plate of roasted bone marrow, and, after they enjoy the marrow, ask for their favorite shot. Images of Viking or Flintstones may come to mind as one pours the tequila or bourbon at one end of the bone, using it as a luge to travel to the open mouth. And yes, it’s called the Bone Luge.
9. The holy grill
It’s a comfort food cocktail in a martini glass, and you can find it in NYC’s Cellar at Beechers.
To make this off-menu grilled cheese on the rocks, Beechers bartenders will whip together vine-ripened tomatoes, muddled basil and tomato juice. Oh, and a special double-filtered grilled cheese vodka, a concoction that took 37 tries to get right, and 24 hours of grilled cheese sandwich “infusing.” The cocktail is poured over a big tomato juice ice cube, and the glass is rimmed with house-reduced balsamic and crispy pieces of prosciutto.
10. Slither up to the bar
In Southeast Asia, snakes have long been considered to offer vitality (provided you’re not bitten by a deadly one) which makes it a bit less surprising to see entire snakes infused into rice wine or grain alcohol there. There’s even a snake village in Hanoi. Customers at the Nguyan Van Duc restaurant can not only sample the wine, but can also partake in snake steak, snake cake and fried snake spring rolls.
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