Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Because there is apparently a fierce battle to the death over who can make the most expensive cocktail in the world, recently a fellow named Joel Heffernan at Club 23 in Melbourne, Australia, created a cocktail called the Winston. The Winston sells for $12,916. Per cocktail.
This was in an effort to blast from its perch the Salvatore’s Legacy, invented by a fellow named Salvatore Calabrese at London’s Playboy Club (of course), and it succeeded, as the Salvatore’s Legacy concoction sells for a mere $8,388 per drink. Of course, this is all tomfoolery for people with way too much cash, but you have to admit it gets you thinking.
Using my liquor-trained eye, it looks to me like the Winston is 60 ml of Cognac (really freakin’ expensive Cognac), 20 ml of fancy Grand Marnier (also expensive) and 20 ml of similarly fancy yellow Chartreuse (ditto), assuming Heffernan is using metric jiggers. Plus a dash of bitters.
It’s pretty straightforward really - a riff on the classic Champs Élysées cocktail, which can be found in the similarly classic 1930s Savoy Cocktail Book. Stir all that with ice in a crystal beaker with a glass rod, then serve it up in a cocktail glass, surrounded by some absurdly twee sugar-sculpture garnish that isn’t even in the cocktail. No wonder the one guy who ordered it only drank a few sips before he left (seriously, he did; it’s unclear what happened to the rest of the thing, though you have to hope that one of the busboys downed it when no one was looking).
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