The classic Rolls-Royce cocktail (c 1930) comprises gin, Benedictine and the two major varieties of vermouth. It is served, naturally, in a coupe. But, like the Rolls itself, the recipe has become gradually, luxuriously, more complicated.
Today, if you’d care for a true Rolls-Royce cocktail, you’ll need to mix that Benedictine with American walnut, aluminium, and the finest natural grain leather, which you’ll find lovingly handcrafted for you into a $46,328 “drink hamper.”
Perhaps because there is precious little space to add more luxury to anything actually attached to a Rolls, or perhaps because it’s one of the few vehicles that has the luxury of condoning drinking during operation, Rolls-Royce Accessories Designer Sina Maria Eggl, in association with London’s Dorchester Hotels, have created what is certainly the world’s most exquisite portable bar.
Each hamper — and there will be only 15 made — is hand-crafted over the space of two months, and built primarily for the accommodation of four decanters and four tumblers blown by Theresienthal, “supplier of many of the Continent’s Royal Courts.” Each glass takes a month to complete, thanks to a beechwood moulding process even more archaic than hand-building an automobile, and is finished with platinum rims.
The wünderkammer itself is like a decomodern bar from the miniaturized future, a museum-quality piece with finishes designed to match those of the museum-quality automobile that will be toting it around. The muddler is walnut, and the strainer carries the RR logo, as do the fine cotton napkins (we know; more laundry, right?). There are dishes for canapés, an ice bucket, a chopping board and paring knife (a Rolls-Royce cocktail is properly garnished with a twist), as well as a bottle opener, ice tongs, stirrer, jigger, crusher, atomizer, and glass serving tray. The whole thing lights up from the inside, like the self-satisfied faces of anyone who happens to be in the back of a Rolls. A book with “a series of cocktail recipes inspired by the marque’s extraordinary heritage” provides you with light reading should conversation lag.
It’s a lovely piece of kit, though there doesn’t seem to be any solution for storing bottles. We guess those vermouth bottles will keep rolling around under the back seat, just like always.
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