This Is What a $2500 Cocktail Looks Like: ‘The Gilded Sultan’s Elixir’ at Istanbul’s Çırağan Palace Kempinski



If one were to think about it, it’s very likely that the decision to order a $28 drink is a more difficult one than ordering one with a four figure price tag. After all, if you can afford to pay more than a grand for a single tipple, you probably don’t worry much about money.

Should you indeed be one of those chosen few – or you’ve just been feeling terribly impractical of late – you might want to consider making Istanbul your next destination. And, for a proper splurge, book a room at the jaw-droppingly plush Çırağan Palace Kempinski. Rising majestically above the Bosphorus, it was originally built by the venerable Armenian architect Nigoğayos Balyan, for the Sultan Abdülâziz, between 1863 and 1867. Its rooms, bars and restaurants offer some of the most prized views in the fabled city.



On of those bars is the handsome, open air Le Fumoir. Overlooking the hotel’s lush gardens, from the name, one can discern that cigars are obviously the primary temptation. But also on offer to round out the pleasure of that coveted Cuban (or blackberry hookah) is a cocktail with the appropriately grandiose title The Gilded Sultan’s Elixir. The price? $2500.

Starting with a rarefied base of the uncommon Hennessy Richard cognac, it’s made with coconut-infused pineapple juice, fig bitters, honey syrup and is topped off, naturally, with edible golden leaves – for that singular touch of extravagance. Bonus: if you follow the commodities market, you can watch the price of your cocktail go up and down while you’re sipping it.

For those who prefer something a bit more…effervescent, Çırağan Palace will be offering, for the summer only, Veuve Clicquot: Rich, whose fruitier style is meant to to be poured over ice, or to encourage creative cocktail experimentation.

Oh, the sheer indulgence of it all.


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