We all know that a decent drop of cognac will cost a bob or two…  And, for that extra special experience, most of us have probably sacrificed our hard earned pennies on the odd occasion to enjoy the luxury that is high-class eaux-de-vie, premium Cognac.

But you’re going to need deep pockets indeed if you hope to get an invite into New York’s latest semi-private drinking club (and not just searching for a cognac bar).  Located at the New York Palace Hotel, the aptly named, Rarities, opened in November 2013 after a major $156 million revamp of the hotel.


But don’t expect the club to be advertised with flashing neon lights or adverts in the local news rag.  Clubs like these take the meaning of inconspicuous to a different level.  The door to the club is unassuming (and locked), and most people walk right on by without even noticing its there.  After all, there’s no sign to mark its existence.  And for the privileged few who get to feast their eyes on the inside, it’s like stepping back in time to the days of the railroad and the tycoons who made their fortune during this almost forgotten era.

Indeed, this is the whole idea that the creator’s of the club had in mind when they came up with the concept.

The club has space for 25 people only, and is a haven of quiet where lucky members can relax in leather armchairs surrounded by old time splendor.  This is a place where multi million dollar business deals are hammered out, so the ‘paltry’ price of a few thousand dollars for a glass of your favourite tipple is pretty much by-the-by in such a situation.


So, once inside, what delights can you expect to be served?  Well, for a cool $3470 you can enjoy a glass of Remy Martin Louis XIII Rare Cask Cognac.  But if your wallet won’t quite stretch that far, how about an early 20th century rye whiskey for a mere $195 a glass.  But it was hidden in a Colorado crypt by a mine owner to avoid losing it during the prohibition…

Or if bourbon’s your thing, then there’s a glass of Pappy Van Winkle for around $500.  And don’t think that the wine drinkers have been forgotten.  If you really want to push the boat out, you can enjoy a bottle of 1985 Romanee-Conti Grand Cru for an eye watering $27,000.

Alas, there’s nothing as common as beer served in this bar.  But for those with somewhat more of an average budget, you can get a tot of 15-year-old Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood Scotch for $25.


So, how do you gain entrance through the hallowed doors?  Well, there’s two ways of doing so.  Firstly, and at the cost of an annual membership fee of $16,600, you can simply join the club.  For this you get an entry key, 12 bottles of rare wine or champagne, and up to 12 nights accommodation in the Tower Suites at the hotel.

The other way is to simply make a reservation at the hotel (priority is given to guests staying in the Tower Suites), and to bring your credit card.

Of course, as you’d expect from such an upmarket drinking establishment (as well as the crazy prices), is that every drink you order will be placed on a linen coaster and served at your table with a complimentary glass of water (served on a leather coaster).  At those prices we’d expect the water to have been filtered through multiple layers of the Earth’s crust for many millions of years.  Not to mention being bottled by virgin maidens from a little known tribe that inhabits the little known Pitcairn Islands somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…

Sources: Malaysia-chronicale.com news.com.au


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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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