How to Make a Caviar Martini: A Luxurious Cocktail Recipe

The Caviar Martini is a true luxury cocktail made with vodka or gin, dry vermouth, and garnished with premium caviar. This indulgent drink was first created in the 1920s and has grown in popularity over the years, especially for serving at upscale parties and special occasions.

The combination of smooth spirits and salty, briny caviar makes for an unexpected delight that excites the palate. In addition to its great taste, the Caviar Martini is also said to have aphrodisiac properties to set just the right mood.

What You’ll Need for a Caviar Martini

Ingredients for the Caviar Martini

1. Vodka or Gin

The base spirit used is typically vodka or gin, but vodka allows the flavors of vermouth and caviar to shine. Vodka is used in 80% of Caviar Martinis according to The Spruce Eats. Use a premium vodka like Ketel One or Belvedere to really elevate your cocktail.

2. Dry Vermouth

A key ingredient in Martinis, dry vermouth balances out the alcohol and adds an herbal complexity. The Caviar Martini calls for around 1 oz vermouth, but reduce to 3⁄4 oz if you prefer a stiffer drink. Noilly Prat Extra Dry is a popular choice.

3. Lemon Twist or Olive (for garnish)

Traditionally, Martinis are garnished with either a lemon twist or olive. When making a Caviar Martini, you can include both for extra flair. The citrus oils complement caviar well, as does the briny olive.

4. Caviar (for garnish)

Of course, caviar is essential for garnishing this cocktail. Beluga caviar is considered the best caviar for Martinis according to experts at The Spruce Eats. Its large black pearls have a refined, nutty flavor that pairs beautifully. Expect to pay $50 to $200 for just one serving of quality Beluga caviar based on current market prices listed on Caviar Star. If you wish to splurge, a European import like Petrossian or Tsar Nicolai is divine. For a more economical alternative, try golden White Sturgeon or Siberian Sturgeon caviar.

Equipment Needed for the Caviar Martini

1. Cocktail Shaker

You’ll need a Boston shaker set consisting of a mixing glass and steel shaker tin for shaking up this indulgent cocktail.

2. Martini Glass

Chilled martini glasses are ideal for serving Caviar Martinis. The conical vessel keeps the drink ice cold and allows you to showcase the garnish.

3. Measuring Jigger

Use a double-sided jigger to accurately measure out portions of vodka/gin and vermouth. Precise pours lead to balanced drinks.

4. Cocktail Strainer

A Hawthorne strainer fits neatly into your shaker tin to double strain liquid out while holding back ice or bits of caviar garnish.

5. Small Spoon (for caviar)

Use a small spoon to top each drink with that opulent dollop of caviar pearls as a final touch. Mother of pearl caviar spoons are fitting if you want to go all out.

Steps to Make a Caviar Martini

Making this indulgent craft cocktail only takes a few minutes. Follow these simple steps:

1. Chill the Martini Glass

First, set your glassware in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until frosty cold. This prevents the drink from warming too quickly after pouring and diluting too fast.

2. Measure and Pour the Ingredients into the Shaker

Next, use your jigger to carefully measure out the vodka/gin and dry vermouth into your mixing glass filled with ice:

  • 2 oz vodka or gin
  • 3⁄4 to 1 oz dry vermouth

3. Shake Well

Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. This properly chills and dilutes the cocktail.

4. Strain into the Chilled Glass

Place your chilled martini glass on an even surface. Double strain the shaken liquid through the Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh sieve into the martini glass.

5. Garnish with Lemon Twist or Olive and Top with Caviar

Finish off your Caviar Martini with a thin lemon twist or olive garnish on a cocktail pick. Place it near the rim rather than submerged in the drink. Then use a small caviar spoon to place a mound of pearls in the center.

Caviar Martinis are best enjoyed immediately after making them according to experts at Serious Eats, as the icy chill helps highlight the salty brininess of caviar.

Tips for Making the Perfect Caviar Martini

Choosing the Right Type of Caviar for Your Martini

Not all caviar is created equal. Beluga caviar’s large beads and buttery flavor make it the preferred choice to garnish Martinis. Its texture holds up well to shaking without breaking down too fast compared to more delicate varieties.

If Beluga is outside your budget, Ossetra still has a marvelous nutty sweetness and Siberian Sturgeon is another fine option that’s more affordable.

Pairing Suggestions for Your Caviar Martini

A Caviar Martini makes for a fabulous start to a special dinner. It can awaken the appetite and palate before finer courses ahead. Alternate sips of your martini with nibbles of caviar placed atop blini pancakes or brioche toasts.

Pair your Caviar Martinis with Russian-inspired foods like pelmeni dumplings, borscht soup, or slow oven-roasted lamb. Flaky savory pirozhki pastries are another excellent match.

On the wine front, a chilled dry Champagne would work beautifully as well. The lively acidity and biscuity notes mirrors the flavors of premium caviar.

Conclusion: Enjoying Your Luxurious Cocktail

Learning how to make a Caviar Martini is certainly a special skill for any home mixologist. Transform quality spirits and salt-cured fish eggs into a stellar combination enjoyed since the 1920’s. Use fresh, top-shelf ingredients to let their flavors dazzle. With fluted glass chilling and Beluga pearls shimmering, lift your glass and relish each luxurious sip!