The most expensive Christmas drink in the world

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It may be wise to ensure it's not your round when someone orders a glass of Hennessy's new limited edition cognac - which comes in at a staggering £105,000 a bottle.

The Beaute de Siecle - created to celebrate a Hennessy patriarch's 100th birthday - costs a wallet-wilting £5,000 a glass.

France's exclusive cognac houses have often released special bottles of their pungent spirit. Courvoisier produced 2,000 bottles to mark the millenium costing £2,500 each.
Breathtaking: Hennessy's mouth-watering cognac for sale at an eye-watering £105,000
Remy Martin then made 1.5 litre magnum of Louis XIII cognac with a 4 carat diamond attached to the bottle for £25,000.

But Hennessy's new Beaute de Siecle - or which there are just 100 bottles in existence - is now officially most expensive tipple by a very wide margin.

The cognac itself is in a Baccarat crystal bottle contained in an ornate wooden chest embedded with mirrored glass and meted aluminium.

A bronze key opens the box which then triggers a concealed switch to make the bottle rise up on a velvet tray.

The drink itself is blended by Hennessy's cellar master Yann Fillioux from reserve cognacs between 50 and 100 years old.

Company spokesman Thibault Le Mailloux said: "It is truly a work of art in which there is a bottle of cognac.

"It was created in homage to a Killian Hennessy, the sixth generation descendant of the company's founder, who is 100 years old this year.

"He oversaw the merger between Hennessy and Moet et Chandon in 1971, and the creation of the LVMH group in 1987, of which he was the first honorary president."

One bottle of Beaute de Siecle has already been presented to Killian Hennessy as a birthday present, and another has been donated to Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS charity to be auctioned.

Several of the 100 bottle series have already been sold, to anonymous buyers in Asia, Europe and America. A bottle is also on display as a contemporary art work at the Galerie Nichidou in Tokyo.

At the other end of the cognac market, the drink's affectionados have been warned their could be a worldwide drought of their favorite tipple next year due to a very low 2007 grape harvest.

The price of an ordinary bottle of 25 pounds cognac could soar to over £35, Cyril Camus, CEO of Cognac producer Camus said.

He added: "Today there is enough stock to supply at the current rate of sales.

"But if the rapid sales experienced over the past two years continues then the very low grape harvests mean then there will be shortages in the near future, and the price will certainly go up."

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