In an act of marketing genius, The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, will be offering a very special $40,000 Ruby Rose cocktail at its luxury restaurant to mark the Inn's 40th anniversary. Immersed in a delectable ruby-red concoction made with Hanger One Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, pomegranate and a spoonful of rosewater is a genuine 4-carat ruby. Ruby, of course, is the traditional 40th-anniversary gemstone.
The Inn, which offers lavish service, luxury accommodations and ultra-fine dining to wealthy businessmen, celebrities and politicians, devised the ruby-themed promotion to raise awareness of its special anniversary. The New England press was quick to pounce on the story, and other news outlets followed suit.
Maitre d'hotel Matthew Swinford told the Portland Press Herald that he expects to sell at least two $40,000 cocktails during the promotion. For Inn guests with "particular tastes," Swinford said, "the dollar amount is not the issue. It's the experience."
Colin Joliat, a columnist for the website Guyism.com, had a different take on the clever promotion.
Joliat wrote: "I’ve had that cocktail, minus the rosewater and ruby, a few different times, and it’s damn good... Buying one with a ruby in it, though, is stupid. Do you know where I buy my precious gems? Jewelers. That’s right. I buy very expensive objects from people who specialize in selling very expensive objects."
Hotel guests who want to experience the Ruby Rose cocktail without the five-figure expense can sip the gem-less version for $18.