Behold the $40,000 Cocktail

Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff

Sure, high-priced cocktails are a thing. But you might truly need a drink after hearing about this one: the Ruby Rose, a vodka-based concoction poured over a four-carat ruby gemstone.

The price tag? A cool $40,000.

Available starting June 1 at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, as reported by the Portland Press Herald, the Lexus RX–priced beverage was been created in honor of the swanky hotel’s 40th anniversary.

The idea of dropping an actual ruby into the red mix—of Hangar One vodka, St. Germain liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice, pomegranate and rosewater—began as a joke made by a hotel guest. But eventually it struck staffers as natural fit, since the ruby is actually the 40th anniversary gemstone.

“Rubies were always considered a very precious gem,” maitre d'hotel Matthew Swinford told the Herald, “and [founder Laurence “Laurie” Bongiorno] would always refer to the White Barn Inn as a precious gem.”

A New York jeweler is currently shopping around for the rubies, and the first—yep, Swinford expects they’ll sell at least two of the exorbitant beverages—is expected to arrive in Kennebunk in about a month. It will then be stored in a safe until the first Ruby Rose is ordered, at which time the server will seriously pull on the white gloves.

“The way we're going to present it is, it's going to be in the martini glass,” Swinford said. “And then we’re going to pour the martini tableside so they see the gem, and they see the tray—a very high-quality sterling silver tray.” (The same cocktail without the ruby is a bargain at $18).

Though the Ruby Rose is by far the priciest cocktail we’ve ever heard of, it’s by no means the only crazy offering. For starters: A blend of vintage cognac, Kummel liqueur, Dubb Orange Curacao and bitters reportedly sold for $8,802.37 at Salvatore’s Bar in London, making it into the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records.

Since then, though, there’s been the $10,000 cognac-based Ono cocktail, served with an 18-karat gold necklace with a Tahitian black pearl (for women) or gold cufflinks (for men) at the XS Nightclub in Las Vegas; the $10,000 martini, served with a diamond, at the Blue Bar of New York’s Algonquin Hotel; and the $3,000 Ménage a Trois at Tryst, in Las Vegas, featuring Cristal rose, 23-carat gold flakes and a diamond-studded gold straw.

So what’s up with all the jewel-laced cocktails? Damned if we know. But if you decide to splurge, don’t you dare swallow that ruby.