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Wingtip's King of the Orkneys, complete with little outfit.
Wingtip's King of the Orkneys, complete with little outfit.
Photo: Wingtip

SF's Most Expensive Cocktails

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Wingtip's King of the Orkneys, complete with little outfit.
| Photo: Wingtip

Not surprisingly, a city of astronomical rents is also home to people who can afford the occasional (or not-so-occasional) hundred-dollar cocktail. With affluent drinkers at their disposal, more bars are slipping one or two mega-expensive options onto their menus, to see who might bite. The following high-end concoctions found around town are designed to be savored and sipped, not slurped, whether they're using priceless rum, gold flakes, or that perennial high-dollar mixology item, Louis XIII cognac.


Tierney Plumb

What's the most expensive drink you've had in SF? Share in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Smuggler’s Cove

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650 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 869-1900
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Mai Tai with Appleton Estate Limited Edition 50-year-old Jamaica rum ($725): Though “historically appropriate,” according to owner Martin Cate, making a mai tai with the oldest rum currently commercially available in the U.S. isn't cheap.

2. Larry Flynt's Hustler Club

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1031 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 434-1301
The Centurion ($400): For those who enjoy their fine libations with a background of strippers, the Hustler club offers this combination of Louis XIII cognac and 150-year Grand Marnier. Pinching pennies? There's also the Platinum Blonde ($45), made with Patrón Platinum, Cointreau, and pineapple juice.

3. Wingtip

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550 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 765-0993
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King of the Orkneys ($300): The private club atop a men's clothier crafted a luxe twist on the Bobby Burns: Highland Park 40, Carpano Antica and Angostura and Reagan's orange bitters served over an ice ball in a handmade Match Pewter glass. (The fashionable folks in the shop downstairs even dressed the Scottish beverage for the fall, on a Harris Tweed coaster and a bed of Dormeuil Derby jacketing fabric.)

4. The Starlight Room

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450 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 395-8595
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Angels' Share ($200): Perhaps the thin air 21 stories up sways guests to drop the big bucks on this drink. Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, Charbay walnut liqueur and Porto Rocha 20-year Tawny Port are served in a snifter that's been washed and flamed with Chartreuse V.E.P. Jacques Bezuidenhout, now Kimpton's group mixologist, devised a “Million-Dollar Cocktails” list while bar manager that includes this drink; other options are the Heavenly Dram (pictured; $95), with Macallan 25-year scotch, and the Elegancia ($90), with Herradura Seleccion Suprema Tequila.
689 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 284-4040
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The World’s Greatest Martini ($125): We wonder if Kanye ordered Kim this extravagant cocktail following his equally-elaborate engagement at AT&T Park (the famous duo reportedly stayed at the St. Regis, upstairs). Contents include Nolet’s Reserve Gin, Sutton Cellars dry vermouth and
 Bitter Truth Orange Bitters.

6. Alexander's Steakhouse

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448 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 495-1111
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The Roosevelt ($35): This new take on the classic Sazerac (named for where it was purportedly invented, The Roosevelt New Orleans hotel) is made with 2 oz. of 11-year WhistlePig, turbinado sugar simple syrup, Angostura and Peychaud's and Sorcière absinthe rinse. Alexander's used to use 15-year Pappy van Winkle ($55), but no longer stocks it, so consider this a discount.

7. Spruce

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3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 931-5100
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Blue Blazer ($30): It takes a special occasion to splurge on a cocktail carrying the same price tag as the grilled bavette steak entree on the dinner menu. This one gets its price tag from Glenfarclas Bacchus Partners Reserve whisky, mixed with honey, cinnamon and lemon peel.

8. Fleur de Lys

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777 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-7779
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Fleur de Lys Champagne Cocktail/The Impressionist (~$28): While listed at $28 online, these fancy French elixirs have been taken off-menu (and dropped in price by a few bucks, according to a hostess). The Fleur de Lys is pollinated with 23-carat gold flakes and filled with Grand Marnier Centenaire, Martell Cordon Bleu, Perrier-Jouët, and Brut Royal. An equally pricey alternative is The Impressionist: Gosset champagne, a sugar cube with orange bitters, crème de violette and Kübler absinthe.

9. Nihon Whisky Lounge

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1779 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-4400
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The Millionaire ($20): With all the pricey whiskeys on Nihon's walls, it's not surprising a few have made their way to the cocktail menu. This concoction features George T. Stagg 140º bourbon, plus orange and pomegranate liqueurs and lemon. Also available is a $31 Rusty Nail, with Yamazaki 18 year subbing in for the Scotch.

10. Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

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950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 772-5278
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Pineapple Royale ($18): Hidden below the Fairmont, the much-loved SF icon recently got a facelift for its cocktail menu. It now offers a slightly pricier beverage than the standard mai tai, with aged rum, brandy, Cointreau and fresh pineapple juice swimming in a freshly-cut pineapple.

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1. Smuggler’s Cove

650 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Mai Tai with Appleton Estate Limited Edition 50-year-old Jamaica rum ($725): Though “historically appropriate,” according to owner Martin Cate, making a mai tai with the oldest rum currently commercially available in the U.S. isn't cheap.
650 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102

2. Larry Flynt's Hustler Club

1031 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94133
The Centurion ($400): For those who enjoy their fine libations with a background of strippers, the Hustler club offers this combination of Louis XIII cognac and 150-year Grand Marnier. Pinching pennies? There's also the Platinum Blonde ($45), made with Patrón Platinum, Cointreau, and pineapple juice.
1031 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94133

3. Wingtip

550 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111
King of the Orkneys ($300): The private club atop a men's clothier crafted a luxe twist on the Bobby Burns: Highland Park 40, Carpano Antica and Angostura and Reagan's orange bitters served over an ice ball in a handmade Match Pewter glass. (The fashionable folks in the shop downstairs even dressed the Scottish beverage for the fall, on a Harris Tweed coaster and a bed of Dormeuil Derby jacketing fabric.)
550 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94111

4. The Starlight Room

450 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Angels' Share ($200): Perhaps the thin air 21 stories up sways guests to drop the big bucks on this drink. Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, Charbay walnut liqueur and Porto Rocha 20-year Tawny Port are served in a snifter that's been washed and flamed with Chartreuse V.E.P. Jacques Bezuidenhout, now Kimpton's group mixologist, devised a “Million-Dollar Cocktails” list while bar manager that includes this drink; other options are the Heavenly Dram (pictured; $95), with Macallan 25-year scotch, and the Elegancia ($90), with Herradura Seleccion Suprema Tequila.
450 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

5. Ame

689 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
The World’s Greatest Martini ($125): We wonder if Kanye ordered Kim this extravagant cocktail following his equally-elaborate engagement at AT&T Park (the famous duo reportedly stayed at the St. Regis, upstairs). Contents include Nolet’s Reserve Gin, Sutton Cellars dry vermouth and
 Bitter Truth Orange Bitters.
689 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

6. Alexander's Steakhouse

448 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107
The Roosevelt ($35): This new take on the classic Sazerac (named for where it was purportedly invented, The Roosevelt New Orleans hotel) is made with 2 oz. of 11-year WhistlePig, turbinado sugar simple syrup, Angostura and Peychaud's and Sorcière absinthe rinse. Alexander's used to use 15-year Pappy van Winkle ($55), but no longer stocks it, so consider this a discount.
448 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94107

7. Spruce

3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Blue Blazer ($30): It takes a special occasion to splurge on a cocktail carrying the same price tag as the grilled bavette steak entree on the dinner menu. This one gets its price tag from Glenfarclas Bacchus Partners Reserve whisky, mixed with honey, cinnamon and lemon peel.
3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118

8. Fleur de Lys

777 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Fleur de Lys Champagne Cocktail/The Impressionist (~$28): While listed at $28 online, these fancy French elixirs have been taken off-menu (and dropped in price by a few bucks, according to a hostess). The Fleur de Lys is pollinated with 23-carat gold flakes and filled with Grand Marnier Centenaire, Martell Cordon Bleu, Perrier-Jouët, and Brut Royal. An equally pricey alternative is The Impressionist: Gosset champagne, a sugar cube with orange bitters, crème de violette and Kübler absinthe.
777 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109

9. Nihon Whisky Lounge

1779 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
The Millionaire ($20): With all the pricey whiskeys on Nihon's walls, it's not surprising a few have made their way to the cocktail menu. This concoction features George T. Stagg 140º bourbon, plus orange and pomegranate liqueurs and lemon. Also available is a $31 Rusty Nail, with Yamazaki 18 year subbing in for the Scotch.
1779 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103

10. Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

950 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94108
Pineapple Royale ($18): Hidden below the Fairmont, the much-loved SF icon recently got a facelift for its cocktail menu. It now offers a slightly pricier beverage than the standard mai tai, with aged rum, brandy, Cointreau and fresh pineapple juice swimming in a freshly-cut pineapple.
950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94108

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