For the rest of the world, a 10th anniversary is traditionally marked by a gift of tin or aluminum. Not so in Vegas. To celebrate a decade of providing readers with an in-depth look at a city where “fabulous” is an everyday experience, we are toasting with Sin City’s priciest cocktails.
“Las Vegas is a prime spot to celebrate,” says Francesco Lafranconi, executive director of mixology and spirits education at Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. “People come from all over the world and are willing to spend money.” Whether it’s a single pour or a cocktail whose price can run into thousands of dollars, there are two reasons the bill can balloon: rare ingredients or an added-value package, often jewelry.
Wynn nightclubs offer both at once. At XS, you’ll find the Ono, a $10,000 combination of the ultrarare Rémy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac (which can command $80,000 or more—if you can find one of the fewer than 800 bottles produced), Charles Heidsieck 1961 Champagne Charlie, orange juice, apricot purée, and rose nectar, served in a jewel-encrusted Champagne glass. Oh, and don’t forget to take home your new Tahitian black pearl necklace and pair of 18k gold Mont Blanc cuff links.
Meanwhile, over at Tryst, enjoy a Ménage à Trois for $3,000. It’s a blend of Cristal Rosé Champagne, Hennessy Ellipse cognac, Grand Marnier 150, liquid gold syrup, and edible gold flakes—and at the end of the night, guests get to keep the gold-plated straw with a diamond accent.
While nightclub extravagance attracts young high-rollers who want to make a statement, Bellagio’s elegant Lily Bar & Lounge takes a different tack. You’ll find a number of pricey cocktails featuring rare and unusual spirits. Order a 1914 Sidecar ($400) and enjoy Ferrand Cognac Memoire 1914 (almost a century old), Grand Marnier Quintessence ($800 a bottle at the few places that sell it), and lemon juice, all served in a cinnamon-sugar-rimmed martini glass. Or for $450, down Elit by Stolichnaya Pristine Waters Series Himalayan Edition vodka. Limited to 300 bottles worldwide, each costing about $3,000, this unusually silky vodka starts with water from the Langtang National Park in the Himalayas.
Finding upmarket booze isn’t all that hard. Cognacs, vodkas, and tequilas all have high-end variants. Whiskies regularly release rare or vintage single-barrel expressions that sell at auction for tens of thousands of dollars, with new records set practically every season. Even rum is getting into the act: Last year Angostura released what it claims to be the world’s most expensive rum, Legacy by Angostura, at $25,000 a bottle (the custom-made Asprey of London crystal decanter and sterling silver stopper help boost the price).
The Balvenie last year released a special 50-year single malt whisky in honor of its malt master, David Stewart, who has been with the Scottish Speyside distillery for half a century. The whisky was laid down in 1962, when JFK was president, and bottled in 2012. Only 10 bottles were released to the US, and The Talon Club at the Cosmopolitan snapped up the first. For the serious whisky drinker, the opportunity to sample a special release like this could be siren call enough to drop $3,400 for a single pour.
For a more affordable yet still unique whisky experience, head over to Rí Rá, where a dram of Bruichladdich 1964 will set you back $550, a 40-year Glenfiddich sells for $650 a pour, and the lovely Dalmore 1974 goes for $350. Fans of Irish whiskey will find Knappogue Castle Vintage 1951 (from the company’s old distillery) for $350 a serving.
And when you’re ready to go all-out for an unforgettable evening, head to Hyde Bellagio. For $250,000, Fountain Package guests sit center stage at the prime patio table overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio. Enjoy drinks and music throughout the evening, and when the music stops, your server delivers a gold box with a red button inside. After perusing the accompanying song menu, push the button and enjoy a custom Fountain Concert and a 30-liter bottle of Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” Champagne.