When There’s More Bling in Your Glass Than on Your Body
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because why wear gold when you can drink it?
By Taylor Mayol
We’ve all heard of craft cocktails and fancy hipster bartenders, but would you want to drink your bling? Some bars around the world — from Singapore to Istanbul to Tokyo — are offering gold and jewels with your drink, or rather in it. If you plan on dropping big bucks for a (literal) taste of gold, there are some drinkable options available. Just be careful not to choke on any of the sparkly bits that might be hiding at the bottom of your glass.
The Jewel of Pangaea
Coming in at a cool $35,000, this cocktail can be found at Singapore’s swankiest club, Pangaea. Made with gold-flecked Richard Hennessy cognac, bitters and a smoke-infused sugar cube, it’s topped off with a 1985 vintage Krug Champagne. But the real cherry on top? A Mouawad Triple X 1-carat diamond. Those who can afford to sip such a concoction can do so while lounging on ostrich- and crocodile-skin sofas, designed by club owner Michael Ault. He claims to be the first (back in the ’90s) to have offered the flashy concept of “bottle service” as we know it today.
The Diamond Is Forever Martini
You might not want to have this James Bond cocktail shaken. At the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, big spenders can expect to fork over $15,000 for a classic Grey Goose martini with a splash of lime. The twist? A diamond at the bottom of the glass. If that isn’t enough, the bar band plays the James Bond theme song “Diamonds Are Forever” every time the fancy drink is ordered. A grand total of four people have sipped one since the opening of the hotel in 2007, when the bartender created the cocktail to “wow” the guests, according to Sumiko Konishi, the hotel promotions manager.
The Çiragan Luxury Sahlep’
This spicy drink, available at the Çiragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul, is garnished with Turkish honey, Tahitian vanilla and real gold leaves. But its price tag is thanks to sahlep’, a flour made from the tubers of a certain type of orchid. First discovered in southern Turkey, the ingredient was consumed in beverages during the Ottoman Empire. Barney Bishop, a spokesman for the hotel, says the drink is served from November to March and is considered “a quintessential winter cocktail” because it is supposed to help fight the flu. But at $680, it’s a pretty pricey cold remedy.
It’s too late for drinkers to be dazzled by this $50,000 cocktail — it’s no longer available. The Dazzle was a drink that came with a pink 6.5-carat tourmaline and diamond ring set in 18-carat white gold. The ring was created to match the drink’s mélange of rosé Champagne and strawberry and lychee liqueurs. It wasn’t even served at a club, but at the second-floor bar of the Harvey Nichols department store in Manchester, England.
Although these drinks are geared toward the superrich, it might be indicative of a wider buying trend promoted by us mere mortals — the so-called premiumization of liquor. Gary Hemphill, managing director at the Beverage Marketing Corp. in New York City, says that people are “trading up to products they perceive to be of higher quality” and spending more money on fancier alcohol, from craft beer to higher-end tequila. To be sure, drinks with diamonds and gold are in another category entirely. Hemphill says that’s more for “people who want to show off.” We’re inclined to agree with him. But if you have a thickly padded wallet (or one of those elusive, exclusive Black Cards), then drink up!