World-renowned bartender Salvatore Calabrese has broken the Guinness World Record for the most expensive cocktail with a Cognac-based drink priced at £5,500 a glass.
Calabrese with “Salvatore’s Legacy”, the world’s most expensive cocktail
“Salvatore’s Legacy”, concocted by Calabrese in front of an audience of London’s top bartenders at The Playboy Club in Mayfair today, is also the world’s oldest cocktail, containing a liqueur from 1770 and Cognac from 1788, around the time of the American Revolution and Captain Cook’s claiming of Australia.
The cocktail, composed of 40ml of 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, 20ml of 1770 Kummel Liqueur, 20ml of 1860 Dubb Orange Curaçao and two dashes of Angostura Bitters from the 1900s, was bought by a friend and long term client of Calabrese.
Visibly nervous before the attempt, Calabrese asked his assistant to mop the sweat from his brow.
Silence fell upon the packed room as he was presented with the first bottle – 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, which took Calabrese over five minutes to prize open with a combination of a knife, corkscrew and metal tongs
The following three bottles proved easier to enter, with Calabrese using his first ever shaker to mix the spirits in, pouring the result into a vintage cocktail glass.
The successful attempt, to coincide with London Cocktail Week, was overseen by a Guinness World Records adjudicator.
The record comes just three months after Calabrese was left “heartbroken” when a treasured bottle of 1788 Clos de Griffier Cognac worth £50,000 was accidentally smashed by a customer at Calabrese’s bar at The Playboy Club.
The four components of “Salvatore’s Legacy”, including 1788 Cognac
The bottle, destined for the record attempt, fell off the table when the customer asked to look at the label, having ordered two glasses at £5,050 each.
“I was devastated when the bottle smashed and thought my dream of breaking the world record was over, but thankfully it has all worked out,” a jubilant Calabrese told the drinks business after smashing the world record today.
The previous record for the world’s most expensive cocktail was held by The Skyview Bar at the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, with a £3,766.52 a glass tipple.
Calabrese, who has previously worked at Dukes Hotel in St James’s and The Lanesborough in Knightsbridge, is a vintage Cognac specialist.
He has built a collection of fine and rare Cognacs worth over £1 million, dating back to the late 18th century, many of which are displayed behind glass at Salvatore’s Bar at The Playboy Club.