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The Affordable Way to Drink Caviar


This New Year’s Eve, skip the Champagne and opt for something even more luxe: caviar cocktails. Instead of blowing a whole paycheck on a tin of super premium Osetra or Beluga, opt for their more approachable and sustainable cousins. Bright, reddish-orange salmon roe (about $10 for 2 oz) not only looks beautiful, but it has a rich, robust, briny flavor. Amia Calva roe (about $20 for 2 oz), also known as bowfin roe, has a similar appearance to sturgeon roe but a much friendlier price tag. And golden whitefish roe (about $15 for 2 oz) has a sunny yellow color, crunchy texture and sweet, mild flavor. All three make terrific cocktail compliments—as long as you present them correctly and opt for the right cocktail. That’s where bartender Anthony Bohlinger of Seamstress and Maison Premier comes in.

“Fish roe and a clean vodka is an amazing pairing,” Bohlinger says. So he chose to create a vodka-based drink to serve with caviar. But he took a somewhat different approach than you might expect. Instead of opting for a classic Vodka Martini, he went in a sweeter direction, creating an elegant take on a Chocolate Martini called the Roe Your Boat (recipe below).

Chocolate and fish roe may sound like a strange combination, but vodka, along with a couple dashes of saline, helps bridge the gap between sweet chocolate liqueur and salty roe. Speaking of that roe, let’s talk about the right way to garnish a cocktail with caviar.

Rimming drinks with caviar can get messy, quick, and wastes the precious roe as it slides down the glass and onto the floor. The best way to present caviar on a cocktail is in a homemade ice bowl. Not only is it easy to make—all you need is crushed ice and a handheld citrus juicer—it’s also practical. It keeps the roe cold. There’s nothing worse than warm roe.

Here, the best caviar-topped cocktail to make this New Year’s Eve.

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