By Jade Scipioni
A limited-edition chocolate bar that is made from the beans of ancient cacao trees in Ecuador and sells for $385 may very well be the world’s most expensive chocolate bar.
“We make chocolate with the oldest and the rarest variety of cacao on earth,” Jerry Toth, co-founder of To’ak, an Ecuadorian chocolate company, told FOX Business.
To’ak ages the beans for four years in a French oak cognac cask, which drives up the price tag.
The company has partnered with multiple retailers around the world including Harrods in London, 2beans in New York, Wally’s Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles as well as two locations in China.
The beans come from a native variety known as Nacional and were on the verge of extinction until Toth and his business partner, Carl Schweizer, stumbled across a valley in Ecuador that had a few old cacao trees left.
The world’s most expensive chocolate: Here’s what it tastes like
Calling all chocolate lovers. Jerry Toth, founder of To’ak, unwraps the world’s most expensive chocolate bar. At $385 a bar, here’s what makes it so special and what it tastes like.
“We actually had DNA tests done to make sure they were 100% genetic matches to the Nacional beans,” Toth said.
The company said it has planted a seed bank of cacao trees in Ecuador to ensure production over the next decade.
The partners decided to establish To’ak in 2013 and produce limited-edition bars for chocoholics around the world. Since its launch, the company has completely sold out each edition of the bars it has released, with about 100 bars per edition.
“Our trees have extremely low yields, causing us to be limited on what we can produce,” he said.
If you’re on a budget, the company also offers a $355 chocolate bar that has been aged for two years in a single-malt whisky cask. Its first chocolate bar, the El Nino Harvest, sells for $275.
“It’s kind of like what you would do with a really expensive bottle of whiskey,” Toth said. “Our customers save it for a long time and wait for the right moment to break it out.”
As for taste, Toth describes his candy as a dark chocolate with caramel and fruit notes with hints of kelp and sea water
The upscale London Hotel in New York City is now selling the ‘Billionaire’s Margarita’ for the price of $1200 per glass after scoring a bottle of the ultra-exclusive Patron en Lalique Serie 1, which runs about $7,500 per bottle.
“They only produced 500 bottles of this series. They really wanted to have limited production of it. It’s very unique,” says Jayson Goldstein, Director of Food and Beverage at The London, who created this exotic cocktail.
The London is only one of two locations in New York City that have this coveted tequila.
“It’s really smooth. It’s got really nice vanilla and caramel notes to it with a hint of floral. You still get a little bit of the nice tequila burn which is what you want,” he adds. “So, it only made sense to use other high end spirits to go with it.”
“We also just took it a step further and used exotic fruits like Meyer lemon, Key limes, and organic blue agave,” he says.
While the bar has yet sell one just yet, Goldstein says he’s seeing a luxury booze market moving toward high-end tequilas. “I think it’s moving away from the scotches right now,” he adds.
Lisa Hawkins, Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council says tequila sales are booming in the United States overall.
“Tequila sales grew 9.4% in 2015, with high end and super premium tequilas growing the fastest,” she tells FOXBusiness.com. “The margarita ranks as one of the most popular cocktails in the United States.”
She says that interest has driven the expansion of luxury tequila brands. Super Premium Tequila volumes have skyrocketed 652% since 2002 and account for 2.7 million 9-liter cases today.
In 2013, another upscale bar in New York City called 230 Fifth also tried selling a $1200 margarita, expect this one was frozen.
They used an $1800-a bottle of tequila called 1800 Coleccion Extra Anejo Tequila 2010 Limited Release, Quintessence Grand Marnier (which costs $800) and ice made from $450 bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne.
Sal Rozenberg, the Director of 230 fifth, says they sold seven glasses before discontinuing it.
Goldstein admits that while the drink isn’t realistic for most of his guests, he does hope to sell about six or seven of them.
And, he’ll even throw in the glass for free.
1 oz Rémy Martin Louis XIII
.5 oz Organic Blue Agave Nectar
.5 oz Fresh Organic Key Lime Juice
.5 oz Fresh Organic Meyer Lemon Juice
10 Dashes House-Made Cara Cara Sour Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with a fresh lime wedge.