Pairing Craft Vodka & Caviar
Few things go together as perfectly as peanut butter and jelly – except when you taste caviar and vodka. Chilly and crisp juxtaposed with salty decadence offers a perfectly balanced taste experience. Thanks to the rising popularity of domestic craft vodka across the US, the opportunity to discover a new favorite has never been more exciting.
The History of Caviar and Vodka
The pairing of caviar and vodka has long reigned supreme in Europe, particularly across the “vodka belt” which crosses the Nordic states into Russia, through Poland and into the Ukraine. Perhaps the popularity of this culinary union rests in their shared simplicity befitting a connoisseur.
A smooth, clean acidity makes vodka a perfect palate cleanser. It’s a beverage that doesn’t compete with the robust flavors of caviar, making it extremely practical to have on-hand particularly if you’re tasting a range of caviar types.
The Rising Popularity of Craft Vodka
The popularity of vodka dates back to Europe in the 1400s. However, within the past few decades, American-made vodka has taken center stage with dozens of distilleries popping up anywhere from Napa Valley to North Dakota. Thanks to their world-famous potatoes, though, you’ll find a high concentration of distilleries in Idaho. Now appreciated as a true art form, this era of modern vodka has helped to innovate different methods and varieties (including vodka made from sweet potatoes and beets and even gluten-free options).
The Distilled Spirits Council technically categorizes the “craft” distinction for producers who deliver under 40,000 cases of product per year. But as small vodka distilleries boom in size thanks to constant demand, it’ll be interesting to see how distilleries expand their production without losing their original artisanal touch. Want to expand your go-to's? Check out Travel+Leisure’s top picks for craft vodka distilleries from around the world.
Tips to Pairing Caviar & Vodka
When serving up a medley of caviar and vodka, keep these helpful tips in mind for an indulgent vodka pairing and caviar experience.
- Always be sure to serve our vodka selection chilled and in glassware (bonus points if you chill the vodka flute).
- The classic go-to is to serve caviar on blinis or toast points atop a dollop of crème-fraiche.
- Wheat and rye-based vodkas pair exceptionally well with Ossetra caviar.
- Spice happy hour with Caviar-cubes. The Daily Meal showcases how they can easily upgrade cocktails (like perfectly sit atop a flute of vodka with a sliver of cucumber).