most expensive cocktails london

The most expensive cocktails in London

21 Dec 2023 | Updated on: 28 Mar 2024 |By Annie Lewis

Thought £25 was steep for a cocktail? Think again. Allow us to introduce the capital’s cocktails that could set you back hundreds of pounds

London isn’t exactly short on fancy bars and imaginative tipples. Boasting outposts from some of the most celebrated mixologists in the world, you can count on the capital to serve cocktails that are both weird and wonderful – and may also cost you a pretty penny. We’ve scoured the capital for the most expensive cocktails served in the city – and while the ingredients list may sound dreamy, ranging from £140 to £5,500 per drink, the bill is decidedly less so. Here’s where to go when you fancy splashing some cash. 

Dubonnet at Velvet By Salvatore Calabrese, Westminster: £250

Velvet By Salvatore Calabrese, nestled in the five-star Corinthia London, can be discovered behind richly-hued curtains that unveil a sumptuously decorated bar with more velvet than you can shake a stick at (hence the name). The aforementioned mixology maestro Salvatore Calabrese captures the theatre of a cocktail bar with an innovative menu named The Quote Book, drawing on profound words from historical icons of years gone by. Their wisdom ignited Calabrese and the Velvet team to produce the zesty Gabrielle in homage to Coco Chanel and the fruity and fragrant Whistle While You Sip inspired by Walt Disney, alongside classic cocktails including the Breakfast Martini and Spicy Fifty. 

The most expensive cocktails are priced at £250, including The Jack Rose named after French general Jean-François Jacqueminot and featuring apple jack brandy from c1920 and grenadine from c1930. Also discover the rum-based El Presidente, originating in 1920s Havana and linked to Cuban president Gerardo Machado, and the Dubonnet: a royal favourite that was popular in Britain during the 1920s that mixes Booth’s Gin from 1939 and Dubonnet aperitif from c1940. 


The Biltmore Manhattan at The Biltmore, Mayfair: £450

While The Pine bar menu at The Biltmore hotel may not set you back thousands of pounds, it still serves an impressive and costly collection of fine wines, spirits, cognacs and perfectly-mixed cocktails. The priciest of the lot are found under the speciality menu, featuring vintage serves made with spirits dating back to the 1960s and ‘70s. The £100 Margarita 1960's features Jose Cuervo Tequila Blanco (bottled in the 1960’s) and Cointreau Liqueur (bottled in the 1970’s), while the Negroni 1960's mixes Gordons Gin, Cinzano Vermouth and Campari all bottled from the same decade and fetches £140. However, if you’d rather take a trip back to the Roaring Twenties while sitting in the serene surrounds of The Pine Bar, order the Biltmore Rye Manhattan, featuring Biltmore Rye from the 1920s and Cinzano Vermouth from the 1960s for no less than £450. 


The Affinity at Guards Bar and Lounge, Whitehall: £750

guards bar and lounge

The newly-opened Raffles hotel at the Old War Office in Whitehall has already cemented its position as one of London’s most luxurious hotels – which means it’s also one of the most expensive. While rooms are priced at £1,400 per night, those who don’t wish to stay over can spend an equally eye-watering amount in The Guards Lounge. The Affinity, at £750, is described as a ‘scotch whisky classic’ and features Dewar's White Label and 1940s martini, while Greenpoint puts a vintage spin on the modern Manhattan created by Michael McIlroy in New York in 2006, comprising 18-year-old Sazerac rye and 1945-1951 Cinzano Antica and yours £750. Order one of each and you’ve got yourself the equivalent of a night’s stay… 


Silver Jubilee Rob Roy at The Connaught Bar, Mayfair: £2,210

the connaught bar mayfair

Undoubtedly one of the poshest bars in the city, The Connaught Bar prides itself on not only its sophisticated interiors but also its mixology skills. Famed for its martini trolley, this bar is one of two found at the five-star hotel of the same name and was designed by the renowned David Collins to ooze style and glamour – think vast mirrors on the walls, plush seating, low-lit tables and plenty of champagne to boot. Cocktail connoisseurs should look no further than the Synergia menu – designed to distil the feelings, intuitions and thoughts of human encounters into elegant serves – and flick to the vintage section to sample a curated collection of cocktails made using the finest vintage spirits. 

Those under £150 include the classic vintage martini (dubbed one of the best in London), the negroni, White Lady, daiquiri and Old Fashioned. £1,410 will stretch to the 1983 Sidecar, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the iconic cocktail and pays homage to one of the finest cognacs from that era using Adet 1893 and Cointreau 1980s. The most expensive on the menu by some margin, however, is the Silver Jubilee Rob Roy fetching £2,210. Created for the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, The Connaught’s bartenders reimagined a cocktail originally created for her Silver Jubilee in 1977, featuring Macallan Silver Jubilee 1977, Martini Rosso Vermouth and angostura bitter from the 1970s. 


Salvatore’s Legacy at The Donovan Bar, Mayfair: £5,500

donovan bar mayfair
Image: Janos Grapow

Inside historic five-star hotel Brown’s lies a theatrical cocktail bar, The Donovan, created by one of the world’s leading bartenders, Salvatore Calabrese, alongside Brown’s director of mixology Federico Pavan and the hotel’s team of talented bartenders. The current menu, Evoke, aims to take you on a journey of emotions through taste, scent and sight, with each cocktail’s flavours, ingredients and techniques carefully crafted to provoke a response unique to each person. Adrenaline, for example, mixes Old Tom Gin and liquorice, while Wonder reveals tasting notes of coconut and raspberry before ending on a chocolatey sweet note. 

Shockingly expensive tipples, however, are found in the vintage cocktails section. Here, you’ll find Salvatore’s Legacy priced at £5,500 and comprising some of the world’s rarest spirits and liqueurs – think c1930 angostura bitters, c1860 Dubb Orange liqueur and 1770 Kummel liqueur – to result in more than 700 years of liquid history and, therefore, the world’s oldest cocktail. If five grand is a little too steep, The Donovan Bar is also home to the original Daiquiri, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in 1896 and featuring Bacardi de Santiago Cuba from c1905. Just don’t be surprised at the £1,000 bill at the end of the night… 


Read more: The best gins, rums and wines for Christmas 2023