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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Cheers... mine's a 750 cocktail
The race is on to see if the world's most expensive cocktail is being sold in Ireland.

A Belfast hotel is awaiting notification from the Guinness Book of Records about its most extravagant tipple, which will set you back 750.

The rich may swap champagne for extravagant cocktails

The newly-built Merchant Hotel in the Cathedral Quarter says it has acquired an extremely rare bottle of 17-year-old Wray and Nephew Rum, one of the key ingredients of the Mai Tai cocktail.

The hotel's website says: "Given the singular rarity of this product, the cocktail produced with it would need to retail at 750.

"Those lucky enough to sample this cocktail have confirmed that it was worth every penny.

"We are currently awaiting confirmation from The Guinness Book of records that this is the most expensive cocktail in the world."

Roughly translated, Mai Tai means "Out of this world - the best."

The rum which motivated its creation was a "fine, golden, medium bodied" variety from Kingston in Jamaica.

The cocktail is on sale in the Westin's cocktail bar
A 500 euro cocktail is on sale in the Westin's cocktail bar

Fresh lime juice is added to the rum, it is flavoured and sweetened with Orange curacao from Holland and the subtle flavour of almonds from French Orgeat.

The drink is then chilled with shaved ice and served in a 15-ounce glass.

The bottle currently allocated to the Merchant is one of only six bottles available in the world to date.

Across the border, and only thirsty beneficiaries of Ireland's Celtic Tiger economy may be able to afford a cocktail on offer at a Dublin hotel.

The "Minted" cocktail - a vanilla and chocolate Martini - is on sale at the Mint Bar in the five-star hotel at College Green in the city centre. It costs 500 euro (about 340).

It also includes vanilla-infused vodka, 200-year-old cognac and flakes of 23-carat gold.

It comes in a designer crystal glass, with chocolate truffles served on the side.

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