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The $69,000 Lunch

 There’s a website named Eater.com that runs a column called Receiptprocity, which features some of theA bottle of 1853 Hennessy more unusual and entertaining receipts from the restaurant world---usually those that are hideously expensive and/or over the top. These receipts are generally contributed by servers, and in fairness it should be noted that their legitimacy isn’t verified.

Someone recently posted a receipt for an official lunch in London, at which 15 Olympic bosses were present. The source claimed to have a friend who was a waiter in the restaurant. The grand total was 44,660 British pounds (or $69,424, about $4628 per person). While most of the items on the bill are within the normal range, the party did finish with a bottle of 1853 Hennessy for 19,000 pounds, or close to $30K at the current rate of exchange.

Speaking of Hennessy, there’s the libation currently offered by Chinawhite, a London nightspot frequented by famous athletes and other celebrities. The Golden Cocktail is essentially a Champagne cocktail made with Hennessy Paradis Cognac and Luxor 24-ct gold-leaf Champagne, and features a set of 18ct gold rings at the bottom. The drink will set you back 2,012 pounds, or about $3,117, but the rings are custom made by the London jeweler Hirsch and include rubies, black diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. It has been given away to some stars who have won gold medals, including Ryan Lochte, and is available to ordinary mortals by reservation.

I recently criticized the International Olympic Committee for their decision to allow the world’s largest McDonalds to be built in the shadow of the Olympic park. The decision centered on the value of the fast food giant’s sponsorship, but at least the sponsorship funds were being passed along to local Olympic committees for support. Brokien down in that fashion, the value of the Olympic sponsorships pale in comparison to Usain Bolt’s income of $20 million per year, or the estimated $100 million Michael Phelps will rack up in endorsements in the years following the Games. The Olympics may be all about money, but at least they’re consistent.


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