If you’re inclined to splash the cash when you imbibe or if only the finest and rarest liquids pass your lips, you’ll be pleased to know one of the oldest and most expensive spirits in the world has landed in London.
The 153-year-old Cognac Croizet Cuvee Leonie 1858 will set you back a princely £2,500 for a shot of liquid history; if you want to mix it with Diet Coke they’ll charge you double!
A bottle recently sold for a record-breaking £100,000 in China and six are coming to Europe. One has arrived at the relaunched Rib Room Bar at Jumeirah Carlton Tower on Sloane Street. Another excellent place to head for is Purple Bar at the Sanderson, with its Ultimate list.
You can sample a Manhattan 1913 with pre-prohibition McBrayer Bourbon for £360 a glass or enjoy a B&B King with 1940’s Martell Extra and the last known bottle of 1940 Benedict Rich Herb Liqueur, for £490 a glass. Another haven for cocktail connoisseurs, Salvatore at Playboy Club London has the mixologist Maestro’s own personal collection of rare liqueurs and vintage cocktails. Try a Between The Sheets (with 1929 Adet Cognac, Cointreau from 1930 and J Bally Martinique Rum 1929) for £375 or a classic Sezerac using Sazerac de Forge et fils 1805 for £2,000.
Wine buffs should instead head to the new Alyn Williams at The Westbury, for a gold plated Cuvee Dom Pérignon rosé Gold Methuselah for a mere £35,000. For slightly more affordable luxury, Gaucho Piccadilly offers Dom Pérignon by the glass for £32.50. If you’re more concerned with where to savour your favourite tipple, you’re in luck as there’s a trend for members clubs offering limited access for non-members (to show them what they are missing) even at some of the hottest places in town.
Cuckoo Club allows restaurant diners to sneak down to the club below and now Maddox will do the same if you book an evening meal, although make sure you look the part and don’t expect access to the Green Room. Playboy Club too allows a few discreet early evening dinner bookings and they’ve introduced a superb wine night with dinner and paired wines, available once a month for non-members too.
Even the beautifully old-school Pasley-Tyler at 42 Berkeley Square is in on the act, allowing one visit to their Bruce Denny exhibition for the non-initiated. You can also enjoy some Banksy and Micallef while savoring that forbidden fermented fruit.
Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s leading providers of VIP entertainment, including film premieres, fashion shows, launch parties and members club access. www.innerplace.co.uk