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Cocktail with a $1,400 price tag

By Julie Clothier for CNN
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(CNN) -- A hotel in Northern Ireland is waiting to hear from Guinness World Records whether a cocktail on its drinks list is the world's most expensive beverage.

The Merchant Hotel in Belfast, which has been open for only six months, began serving the £750 ($1,410) cocktail two weeks ago. It has sold two of the pricey tipples already.

General manager Adrian McLaughlin told CNN that the hotel has obtained an extremely rare bottle of Wray and Nephew Rum, a key ingredient in a Mai Tai cocktail.

Only six of the 700 ml, 17-year-old bottles were created, and the hotel was the only retail outlet to get a bottle, he said.

McLaughlin would not say how much the hotel paid for the bottle, which came from Jamaica and is being kept in the hotel safe.

He did not know of a drink with a more expensive price tag, and believed the Gunniess World Records would confirm the drink's status as world's priciest.

The Mai Tai is said to have been invented in 1944 at the Trader Vic restaurant in California, using 19-year-old rum. Very few authentic Mai Tais have been made in recent years because the vintage rum has not been available, he said.

"Our head bar tender Sean Muldoon is one of the top mixologists in Britain. Without his credentials, we would never have been able to get the bottle."

Because of the price tag attached to the drinks, he had originally anticipated the bottle would last five years, but the hotel had received so much publicity it might run out sooner, he said.

"There may be a purist out there who will make their way to the bar especially but I don't think it will be in high demand."

Meanwhile, in the Republic of Ireland, a hotel in Dublin has started selling a cocktail for 500 euros ($640).

The "Minted" cocktail -- a vanilla and chocolate Martini on sale at the Mint Bar in central Dublin's Westin Hotel -- includes vanilla-infused vodka, 200-year-old cognac and flakes of 23-carat gold.

The drink comes in a designer crystal glass with chocolate truffles served on the side.

McLaughlin told CNN that his hotel's drink did not come with any extras on the side.

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The Belfast hotel says the $1,400 cocktail is the world's most expensive drink.

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