5. Most Expensive Drink: Algonquin Hotel’s Diamond-Studded Martini

Photo courtesy Algonquin Hotel

The Algonquin on West 44th Street is a 181-room hotel that opened in 1902 that saw its rebirth as a literary haunt in the ’20s and ’30s when its owner and manager Frank Case transformed the place into a popular meeting place for writers. To this day, it offers discounted rooms to struggling writers in return for an autographed book and has housed a cat, either named Mathilda or Hamlet depending on the gender, in honor of the hotel’s original cat since the 30s. 

However, if you head to the hotel’s newer Blue Bar, you’ll get quite the opposite feeling from the humble patrons the hotel is known for. The Blue Bar has been serving what it calls a “Martini on the Rock” since its $3 million renovation in 2005– a martini of the customer’s choice with with a diamond, its single ‘rock,’ placed at the bottom. The drink costs $10,000.

Ordering the “$10,000 Martini” is coincidentally not as easy as walking up to the bar. In fact, reservations for the drink must be made at least 72 hours in advance and requires a meeting with the hotel’s in-house jeweler to discuss the diamond in question’s size and clarity. The hotel prefers that the drink be used for marriage proposals, but doesn’t outrightly say it won’t sell its Martini on the Rock to someone simply looking to treat themselves.