Friday, December 16, 2005

Chicago bar serves up 950 dollar cocktail

Carmen Electra holds the 'Electra Paloma' cocktail at a bar in Los Angeles. A jeweler turned drink designer has made a splash in the Chicago bar scene with a new cocktail that costs a whopping 950 dollars.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Michael Buckner)

And now for something that's a little bit lighter in taste, for the weekend. This is from Yahoo News:

CHICAGO (AFP) - A jeweler turned drink designer has made a splash in the Chicago bar scene with a new cocktail that costs a whopping 950 dollars.

The Ruby Red is a tangy mix of vodka, champagne, cognac, pomegranate liqueur and orange juice.

And it comes complete with a one-carat, grade-A ruby.

"We kind of were playing with an idea that someone could come in and have something to celebrate and remember the night by," said Pete Gugni, a manager at the trendy Reserve club in downtown Chicago.

Gugni said the club wanted to come up with something more memorable than opening a bottle of champagne.

"That's where the stone comes in - at the end of the night they can take it home."

Gugni spent a few years as a jeweler after he graduated from art school, but switched to managing a bar because he got bored sitting behind a desk all day.

He used his old connections to buy the cocktail gems wholesale, and says they can easily be turned into a ring, pendant or earrings.

So far, he has sold three.

The first was to an out-of-town businessman who quietly ordered it for the woman sitting with him at a table.

The next was a Reserve regular who bought one for his girlfriend.

The third was an extravagant club promoter in his 20s who bought it to impress a first date. The man made a big show of handing it to the woman and warned her to watch out for a surprise at the bottom of her martini glass.

"She was loving it," Gugni said. "All her friends were looking at it trying to see the stone."

Coming up with a recipe for the drink took a lot of experimenting behind the bar with the club's servers acting as a test market.

"We wanted to use pomegranate because it's hitting a popular trend with the antioxidants, and orange is really good with that," Gugni explained.

Dom Perignon champagne added a certain 'je-ne-sais-quoi', while using the Grey Goose orange vodka brought a smooth and silky kick.

"It's not a really heavy or sweet drink. It's got more of a tart taste."

Nobody has ordered the drink without the ruby yet. Gugni figures he would charge around 120 or 130 dollars for a gem-less Ruby Red, to cover the cost of uncorking the champagne.

But even at that price, they won't get the whole bottle - they just get a splash.

To make a Red Ruby, stir together these ingredients (the gemstone is optional):

- 1.5 ounces Grey Goose L'Orange vodka

- 0.5 ounce Hpnotiq cognac

- 0.5 ounce orange juice

- 0.25 ounce Pama (pomegranate) liqueur

- a splash Dom Perignon champagne

I think I'll stick to the Grey Goose martinis. The Red Ruby is just a tad out of my price range.

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