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tanstaafl2

Caviar and Cocktail/Aperitifs?

14 posts in this topic

Did a bit of searching but didn't see anything that spoke to this question.

Ihave been invited to an afternoon brunch that will feature "Persian" caviar. I have no idea how that differs exactly from caviar in general except that the host is indeed Persian being originally from Iran.

Would like to take something tasty to imbibe that might fit with this theme. But I tend to associate caviar either with flappers and champagne or brooding Russians drinking vodka (I know, a bit of a stereotype but there you have it).

This is not a hardcore cocktail crowd but they might appreciate something light and a bit innovative but I wasn't really sure what direction to try to go.

Could always try a champagne cocktail of some sort but I would also be fine with a light cocktail or even a liqueur/apertif on its own or perhaps with a bit of soda water. Kind of like an Americano perhaps although I am not sure an Americano is exactly the right flavor profile I should be looking for.

Or maybe it is? Was thinking I might lean towards sweet to balance the presumed saltiness of the caviar? Or perhaps that is the wrong direction as well? Would Lebanese arak or Turkish Raki be too much?

Not terribly limited by ingredients. If it is fairly regularly available (I am in Atlanta so the selection is OK but by no means exhaustive) I should be able to procure it if I don't already have it. Just needs to be reasonably simple to make as I don't have much time or inclination to make infusions or the like.

One recipe I came across:

Grainy Evening

2 oz genever

.75 oz Noilly Prat Dry

.5 Kirchwasser

.25 Maraschino Liqueur

lemon twist

Might be a bit complex for this crowd but it has the advantage of being one I have the ingredients for on hand.

Something in a "wet" martini vein (perhaps 3 or 4:1 gin/vodka to vermouth) had also occurred to me.

Thanks for any suggestions!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I guess I was trying to come up with a spirit that was a bit more regional with the notion of Raki or Arak. Don't have any Persian spirits (although I have some Armenian brandy which I suppose is close as well).

But yes, I agree that it would likely be a bit too much in terms of the powerful anise flavor.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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My immediate though was some kind of Sazerac variation with a Raki rinse. Strond brown (brandy?) plus bitters plus raki wouldn't get along with caviar, though. Unless you serve the cocktail after the food. Could always go for a simple Collins, too. Maybe experiment with a scant barspoon of the anise beast to see if it works.


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I think a Bamboo would be a nice, low alcohol aperitif, with a slight savoriness and a faint saltiness that would complement the caviar well. It's also very easy to make: an ounce and a half each of dry sherry and dry vermouth with a dash each of orange and aromatic bitters and a lemon (or orange) twist. You could add an optional bar spoon of rich simple or demerara syrup to offset the dryness. If sherry is a tough sell, a fifty-fifty Martini with Dolin Dry would do superbly.

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”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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There is a reason people prefer vodka or champagne with caviar. Iranian caviar is generally superb, bring some nice champagne.

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And, I believe, probably illegally imported into the US, if that's where it's being served.

Whether it is truly Iranian caviar I don't know, only that the host is Iranian (and so may have a black market connection).

So it sounds like I need champagne, gin and vermouth! Although the Bamboo sounds interesting for the more open minded.

Maybe make a French 75 as well?


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I'm with Frog (gin Martini), although a gin French 75 or plain Champagne would be nice. I'm imagining something dry (not sweet, not sour) and bracing to go with the salt / sea flavor of the caviar.

My other thought would be a clean, mild single malt (maybe Highland?), which works well with sushi.

Sounds like fun.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Above suggestions are all great; I'd give a Bamboo a try, personally, or perhaps another dry vermouth drink like a Lucien Gaudin or Atty.

I also got thinking about akvavit/aquavit, either straight & very cold or with sweet vermouth in a Norwegian Wood or Viggo:

1 1/2 oz Bluecoat gin
3/4 oz akvavit
3/4 oz M&R sweet vermouth
1/2 oz lemon
scant 1/2 oz simple
2 Angostura
half a kirby cuke

Shake; strain; up no garnish in a large coupe.

This may only work in my head, I realize....

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Chris Amirault

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Above suggestions are all great; I'd give a Bamboo a try, personally, or perhaps another dry vermouth drink like a Lucien Gaudin or Atty.

I also got thinking about akvavit/aquavit, either straight & very cold or with sweet vermouth in a Norwegian Wood or Viggo:

1 1/2 oz Bluecoat gin

3/4 oz akvavit

3/4 oz M&R sweet vermouth

1/2 oz lemon

scant 1/2 oz simple

2 Angostura

half a kirby cuke

Shake; strain; up no garnish in a large coupe.

This may only work in my head, I realize....

Sounds like a challenging cocktail! But I appreciate the honesty of the closing commentary...

:huh:


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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The Bamboo cocktail with Lustau Amontillado sherry, Dolin Dry and a dash each of Angostura and orange bitters proved a success with the caviar brunch. I also brought champagne, gin and several vodka's but the cocktail seemed to be the consensus choice.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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