The high cost of keeping up

The rapidly escalating prices of cocktails and some whiskies has been well documented on this site and elsewhere, but it's getting difficult to keep up with the pricing gimmicks.

The last eye-popper is the Juber Cocktail at $3,000 a pop.

It's the new signature cocktail at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The concoction uses Bombay Sapphire gin, Blue Curacao, dry vermouth and a blue-sugar coating on the rim of the martini glass.

Well, what you may ask, makes it worth $3,000? Especially considering that no drink on the casino's cocktail menu goes for more than $9, and many are just $7.

I forgot to mention that a pair of custom-made blue sapphire and diamond earrings, set in a sterling silver pick, comes with the drink that made its debut over the weekend at the casino's new Mezz Ultra Lounge.

What is it about all these gimmick drinks that are pushing establishments to become more and more creative as well as pricier?

"I think people are willing to spend more to have a premium experience so they're buying less but they're buying higher quality. It obviously makes a statement about status and the ability to afford it but I think it's also a spontaneous, celebratory thing," Brett Anderson said in an interview with Newsday, the Long Island newspaper. He is senior vice president and editorial director for the Robb Report, the luxury lifestyle magazine.

Location certainly will be paramount for good sales. The presence of high-rollwers at the casino might help, but we're now in Year 2 of the Diamond Martini offered at the Blue Bar in New York's legendary Algonquin Hotel -- $10,000 gets you the drink and a diamond from the hotel jeweler -- but only two have been sold.

Anderson is no stranger to high price gimmick cocktails. The Robb Cocktail created for the Robb Report in 2003 at the Rivoli Bar in London's Ritz Hotel, cost $87,600 then. It's no longer available, and the hotel is mum on how many sold, if any. But, at the time it was offered the cocktail was made with 22-carat gold leaf Eskalony vodka, Grand Marnier, peach liqueur and Ritz private label champagne. A 13.66 carat yellow diamond swizzle stick that doubled as a bracelet was plopped in it before serving.

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