How to Make the World’s Most Expensive Margarita

This Cinco de Mayo, why not pull out all the stops?

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It may surprise you that margaritas are actually more popular in the U.S. than in Mexico, but it’s true. The U.S. has a way of appropriating the cuisine of other cultures and “Americanizing” it—holidays, too.

Like St. Patrick’s Day before it, Cinco de Mayo is gradually seeping into the catalog of America’s favorite excuses for over-the-top alcohol consumption. And who’s complaining? Not us, of course.

Recipes for your favorite Cinco de Mayo drink are a dime-a-dozen on the web, and none of us at Reviewed is sufficiently schooled in mixology to offer up a unique alternative. But we love two things: margaritas and comically expensive stuff. Why not combine the two?

Each of these products is 100% real. They may not be easy to find, but round 'em up and they’d make the world’s most expensive margarita. But just how much, exactly?


Salt: $30

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Korean 9x bamboo salt is made by filling a thick bamboo stub with sea salt and baking it over a pine wood fire.

The heat reaches an astounding 1473.4° F—close to the melting point of salt (sodium chloride). The process is then repeated eight more times (hence the “9x”), causing the pine, bamboo, and salt to exchange flavor properties.

Supposedly, it also causes toxins within the salt to disappear and medicinal benefits to emerge. But who cares about health when you’re making the world’s most expensive margarita?


Ice: $60,000

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Bet you thought this would be the cheapest part, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, there's a bottle of water that costs a staggering $60,000.

Why? Well, the bottle you get with your 750 mL of Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani is made out of solid gold, of course. The water itself is infused with 5 milligrams of gold dust, too—so you know it's good.

Kona Nigari, on the other hand, is a bottled water product sold in Japan and made from desalinated ocean water dredged up from several thousand feet below the surface near the coast of Hawaii. Why would anyone go to such great lengths (or depths) for water? Supposedly it has some health benefits—but it would probably also make for a great margarita. And hey, it's only $402 a bottle.


Limes: $25,000

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You've probably heard that the price of limes is skyrocketing, thanks to poor production in Mexico and interference by local cartels. Even so, as a percentage of the cost of your average margarita, limes trail far behind tequila.

But they don't have to!

For the best, freshest limes, you should really take a quick flight to Iran—you know, the birthplace of the "Persian limes" we've all come to love. Of course, you'll want to fly first class, and you'll want to get there and back before Cinco de Mayo. The ticket price to pull that off? Oh, just $10,074 from the east coast. If you're in Los Angeles, you can hop on an Emirates flight for a cool $14,113.

With the associated costs once you actually get to Iran, plus the bribes you'll need to get the produce out of the country, you can probably just round this one up to $25,000.


Liqueur: $220

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Margarita purists will tell you that Cointreau or triple sec are more appropriate choices here, but Grand Marnier is far more elegant.

Of course, there's Grand Marnier, and then there's Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire. Also called Grand Marnier 150, this particular liqueur is made from a blend of cognacs all aged up to 50 years. It's sealed within a hand-finished, hand-painted frosted glass bottle. Due to its elusiveness, it was once marketed under the slogan: "Hard to find, impossible to pronounce, and prohibitively expensive.” Now that's truth in advertising.


Tequila: $225,000

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Margarita purists will tell you that you should use a mild blanco or reposado when making margaritas, but we think that isn't be nearly extravagant enough. Appropriate flavor profile be damned—we're going for conspicuous consumption, here.

The famed Tequila Ley .925 Pasión Azteca is a blend of three-, six-, and nine-year-old anejo tequilas made from 100 percent blue agave. It was produced by Hacienda La Capilla Distillery in Mexico, and is worth $2,500 on its own. Add in the diamond-studded bottle—designed by the same dude who brought you the $60,000 water bottle—and the value skyrockets well into the six-figure range. In 2006, this bottle was sold to a private collector for $225,000.

If you must have a more traditionally flavored margarita, consider the Casa Dragones Blue Agave Tequila Joven—a perfectly balanced tequila with just a hint of anejo flavor. Unlike traditional tequilas, Casa Dragones is produced through a multi-distillation process (sort of like vodka) that removes natural impurities. The brilliant platinum color is achieved using an ultra-modern filtration system. And the price? $270 a bottle is outrageous for tequila in general, but it can't come close to the Pasion Azteca.


Tallying It Up

All in all, this cocktail will run you a little over $310,000, but we're going to go ahead and round it up to, oh, let's say $325,000 including tips and services rendered. Sure, most of that comes from the wildly inappropriate $225,000 tequila, but even if you poured the Casa Dragones, you'd still be spending well over $85K.

Okay, okay... go ahead and take out the $60,000 water and the trip to Iran, too. What do you have left? A far less fabulous margarita that still costs $923. Not bad for a rowdy Cinco de Mayo!

Hero image: Wikimedia Commons, "Rkolarsky" (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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