Caviar is a well-known delight popularized by the European aristocracy. It is traditionally served not with champagne at a reception or some big event, as you might think, but rather with some ice cold vodka.
Caviar was a treat readily found on the tables of tsars and khans. It was popularized in Europe by the end of the 19th century, while in the US, at the same time, it was served in saloons free of charge as its saltiness kept the thirsty men drinking. Europeans, and especially Germans took their chance and started building the first caviar enterprises in the US.
Caviar is consumed all around the world, but its historical roots lie around the Caspian basin. Is drinking vodka with caviar something that just stuck as a tradition and we blindly follow it because it is already set in stone, or is there something more to it?
Let’s take a look at the star of our table, caviar. It is the roe of the sturgeon fish, an archaic 200 million year old specimen, that we salt and pack in little tins or jars. The taste of true caviar is a perfect combination of buttery consistency, saltiness and freshness of vast waters from where the fish hail.
Now, let’s take a look at our side-kick, the vodka. A true mastery of distilled corn, wheat or potatoes. It packs a unique clear punch that freezes the taste buds and purifies the soul (or at least that’s what they say in Russia). Combining these two facts you can see how the buttery and salty caviar makes a perfect base for the brisk and cold vodka.
Vodka must be served as cold as can be. Just leave it in the freezer overnight. Alcohol doesn’t freeze but it will make the vodka a little syrupy.
Caviar should be served on a piece of toast or blini, and should be eaten with a mother-of-pearl spoon. Non-metal spoons won’t do the trick as metal tends to break the caviar’s taste.
If you are going for a domestic low-budget type of caviar, you will probably end up with paddlefish caviar and in that case some corn-based vodka will do the trick.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the real thing I would urge you to get yourself Russian Osetra. If you are new to the world of caviar, try this Russian Osetra. You are going to enjoy their fine selection. That Osetra can go only with Russian wheat vodka, so take your pick, as long as it is premium quality.
My personal choice, for example would be Russian Standard, but there are also other brands out there; the list is long, and good. If, for example, you get a hold of stolichnaya elit, pair it with this Beluga.
This combination, if served during dinner, is usually done before the meal starts, not after. Also, vodka is an ideal palate cleanser and the best thing to drink if you are tasting different varieties of caviar.
Finally, you don’t have to wait for some special event to try it. Spice up your life, surprise your friends, or you partner, as this makes for an amazing intro to something magical.