A toast to liquid assets

Times Staff Writer

Put away the quarters and funnels and break out the crystal. Big spenders sip and swish rather than gulp and chug. And their bar accouterments are as swanky as their spirits. New on the shelves:


For its 130th anniversary, Veuve Clicquot is kicking its champagne up a notch. Only 3,600 bottles of this limited edition Yellowboam bubbly have been created. These labels are made of exotic leathers -- ostrich and alligator. And for the environmentally conscious, Veuve Clicquot will even turn them into a business card holder once you've drained the bottle, which is topped with a 24-carat gold-plated cap and sealed with foil covered in more gold.



Courting drinkers who seek maximum bling is Bombay Sapphire's Revelation, one of a five-piece collection of Baccarat crystal bottles adorned with sapphires and diamonds. The limited-edition bottles are designed by Karim Rashid, handcrafted in France by Baccarat and dripping with gems set by Garrard, the oldest jewelry house in the world. Proceeds go to the Smile Train charity, and the bottles come with a year's supply of gin. --


Those who long ago left Margaritaville behind for more exclusive areas might be partial to Sammy Hagar's tequila. His Cabo Uno Anejo Reserva -- made from 100% Weber blue agave from the mountains of Jalisco, Mexico -- is aged 38 months in charred American white oak barrels. After that, it's contained in a crystal bottle and housed in a leather and wood box. --


Cellar full up with rare French vintages? Secure some premium off-site storage. Octavian Vaults in Wiltshire, England, will store fine wine in solid stone cellars 100 feet underground, with concrete floors as much as 20 feet deep. Sophisticated systems control the temperature and humidity. The service includes Certificates of Pristine Storage, complete with watermarked paper and thermochromic ink to ensure that the wine has been meticulously stored. Starting at $125 a year for up to five cases.



Of course, there's always the option of faking it. Head to the neighborhood liquor shop and plunk down a few bucks, then decant into a fancy container, such as a sterling silver Tiffany & Co. Century Flask.


Big Spender looks at the big business of catering to those with cash to burn. See more at www.latimes.com/bigspender. Send ideas to bigspender@latimes.com.

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