Your heart has to go out to bar tender extraordinaire, Salvatore Calabrese, when he saw his dream of mixing the most expensive cocktail in the world shattered in front of his very eyes.
Mr Calabrese had been intending to mix a cocktail known as ‘The Old and Wise’ at the Playboy Club in London, with the key ingredient being a 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac. A wealthy customer ordered two glasses of this exquisite eaux-de-vie and then asked to have a look at the bottle. All was well until the businessman and colleague finished their tipple – which set them back a cool £5,000 a glass – and stood up to leave.
Knocking the table, the rare bottle of cognac was sent crashing to the floor – spilling its contents and smashing into smithereens.
Calabrese, a cognac expert with a collection valued at more than a million pounds, said, “We all just froze, then it sunk in. I’ve been heartbroken. Not because of the value of the bottle, but because it is a piece of history that has been lost.”
So now, his quest to mix a cocktail that was not only the most expensive, but also the oldest, will have to be put on hold whilst he searches for a replacement or alternative bottle of eaux-de-vie.
He has, generously, forgiven the customer who is apparently a regular at the club saying philosophically that “accidents happen.” The customer – perhaps understandably – has chosen to remain anonymous.
And the remnants of the bottle? Well, the base and neck are now languishing sadly on display in Mr Calabrese’s cognac display cabinet, alongside the other bottles of his collection.