Decadence in a glass: The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo's 'Diamonds Are Forever' martini

Decadence in a glass: The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo's 'Diamonds Are Forever' martini

This martini may be one of the world's most expensive drinks, but whether shaken or stirred, it always sparkles
Diamonds are forever martini
Think of it this way: You are paying $16,000 for a diamond and get a pretty good martini on the side for free.

When The Ritz-Carlton opened at the top of the Tokyo Midtown Tower in 2007, the hotel dazzled the world with its soaring height, spectacular views and a martini that would knock the socks off James Bond himself. The "Diamonds Are Forever" martini is decadence in a glass -- a smooth blend of chilled Grey Goose vodka with a lime twist, poured over a flawless one-carat diamond. Good news: You get to keep the diamond. Just try not to swallow it. 

"The inspiration for the drink came from the former hotel manager who was trying to create a 'wow' cocktail to complement the hotel's other superlatives -- the tallest building, the most expensive suite, the largest guest rooms," says The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo's director of public relations Linda Beltran.

Luxury like this comes with a price tag to match: the Diamonds Are Forever martini sells for a jaw-dropping ¥1,800,000 yen (approximately US$18,000). Despite the price, Beltran says that the hotel has sold two to date. Yet there are currently no plans to introduce another big-ticket cocktail.

"Our bartender staff is always creating exciting libations, but The Diamond is Forever martini will stand in a class by itself for now," she notes.

The martini is available on the 45th floor of the hotel in The Lobby Lounge and Bar, where visitors can sink into overstuffed chairs covered in candy-colored pastel silk while listening to live bossa nova from 2:30pm to midnight. The interior, designed by Frank Nicholson, is modern but traditional, with impressively high ceilings and amber wood walls illuminated by giant inverted-gumdrop lamps.

On a recent visit to The Lobby Lounge and Bar, cheers ensued from a group of well-heeled men and women dressed in tuxedoes and sequin-studded dresses. Was this the sound of the sale of the hotel's third Diamonds Are Forever Martini?

The bartender shakes his head no. Just a raucous bunch enjoying the "cheap" drinks. "I think the first one sold was a marriage proposal," he says. "Just imagine her surprise."
 
The Lobby Lounge and Bar: Ritz-Carlton 45/F, Akasaka 9-7-1, Minato-ku, +81 (0) 3 3423 8000

Hi, I'm Melinda Joe. Originally from Louisiana, I'd only planned to stay in Japan for a year when I fell in love with Japanese food and sake. The rest, as they say, is history.
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