If you've ever scoffed at a $20 cocktail, prepare to have your mind blown. Baptiste & Bottle, the swanky whiskey bar and restaurant inside the Conrad Chicago Hotel, is upping the ante with a new $95 Scotch sipper called the Macallan Rare Journey cocktail. Before your eyes roll to the back of your skull, know that this is more of a crash course on the spirit than a single cocktail. Oh, and you'll have an Oculus headset strapped to your noggin before the experience is over.
But first, guests will be presented with a shallow wooden box that's filled with three empty glasses, moss and vegetation, the latter of which represents the oak forests where trees are harvested to create Macallan oak casks. Tastings include pours of sherry and Macallan Rare Cask, both of which are accompanied by a quick history lesson. Here's where the virtual reality goggles come into play; as soon as the Oculus is strapped on, guests will be transported to oak forests, vineyards, sherry bodegas and finally to the Macallan Estate.
While that's happening, a bartender prepares the final cocktail tableside, and the aroma of sherry and Scotch should start to permeate the air. By the time the “trip” is over, the cocktail is ready and waiting alongside sidecars of sherry and Rare Cask. The experience is meant to bring the brand to life through sensory education and a very boozy lineup of drinks—if, of course, you have $95 to drop on a drink.
Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.