Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams

I’ve been working with St. Germain elderflower liqueur for a little while now, and find it to be a very versatile liqueur (click here to find out some more recipes in an earlier post). It matches wonderfully with various wines and, of course Champagne, so I figured that it was high time that I created a drink with St. Germain that was specifically suited for a lady.

Starting off with a base of elderflower and Champagne I found the potion to be very tasty, but uninteresting, as I am always looking for layers of complexity in my drinks. Looking on the shelves, my bottle of ginger tincture caught the eye. Would a couple of dashes do the trick?

A drip and a drop later, I found that it had indeed done the trick. Lychee, pear and ginger tickled the palate with Champagne bubbles, creating a cocktail, as one female guinea pig put it, “Good enough to bathe in!”

So, it was finally done, a creation that was suitably complex, but also something that the masses would enjoy. Or was it? Looking at the “finished” product it reminded me of…. a glass of Champagne. Golden in color, bubbles, yep, it looked like Champagne all right.

How am I going to sell that?!?! It needed something, anything, but what? Knowing that summer was about to end, which in turn meant that we were about to get a lot busier, I decided to pull out all stops. I wanted people to start talking about us again (a newly hired PR firm was going to help), and that meant using a bit of magic from a field of bartending some call “molecular mixology“. Violette caviar was going to be my little bit of WOW! that I felt the drink needed.

A “caviar”, for those who have no idea of what I speak of (and I suspect that may be the majority of you out there), is a small little burst of flavor that has the look and feel of fish eggs, but without the salty taste. You can make “caviars” out of pretty much anything, from fruits and juices to teas and spirits and they’re a fun little way of adding a new texture and flavor into a dish or cocktail. If you want to make a small batch of caviar for yourself to fool around with, go to the Small Screen Network, and watch me make some using nothing but common ingredients that you can find in any good-sized grocery store.

Without getting too involved, in order to do “caviar” at the bar, I have to use a different method than shown on the Small Screen Network, which involves sodium alginate and a calcium chloride bath. The reason for this is due to the increased volume of “caviar” that I would go through at the bar, as opposed to what I would go through in home use.

After making the Champagne part of my new creation, I dropped a small spoon of violette caviar into the Champagne glass. Immediately they dropped to the bottom of the glass, where they separated into individual “pearls” and proceeded to bounce from top to bottom before ending up floating at the top of the glass. Eureka! Just the visual interest that I was looking for!

I present for your tasting pleasure, a beverage so fun that you could bathe in it:

……………………………………………………………..
LEIGH’S LAVA LAMP
¾ oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
2 dashes ginger tincture
top with champagne

build above ingredients in champagne glass
add violette caviar in front of guest

……………………………………………………………..

Picture and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau
www.vesselseattle.com

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~ by Jamie Boudreau on August 26, 2007.

7 Responses to “Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams”

  1. great stuff jamie. we experimented with the pearls at union as well, several months ago. not sure what happened to the caviar making apparatus.

  2. Hm, this is giving me grandiose ideas about the next MxMo.

  3. that certainly does look like caviar in the champagne. great idea.

  4. how to make those caviar??

  5. [...] of the bath, bobbing around. (These air encapsulated pearls are fun to use in a bubbly wine as they dance in the glass.) The trapped air has no other discernable effect and after a few refrigerated days, [...]

  6. Anthony:
    Pearls do not have to be stored in oil, but rather in a flavoured solution that matches the caviar. For instance if you were to make cranberry caviar, you should stor the caviar in cranberry juice.
    I find caviar begins to degrade after about 48 hours.

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