Food & Drinks

What To Drink With Caviar: Beyond Bubbles & Vodka

What To Drink With Caviar

Serving caviar is perhaps one of the most elegant dishes you could serve. It might be difficult to match it with drinks other than champagne or vodka. The right drink with caviar is essential.

So, what do you drink with caviar?

Traditionally, you’d serve caviar with champagne or vodka. But why stick with tradition? Be bold and explore other options, such as dry sherries, chilled light, and fruity white wines. Absinthe may seem a weird choice, but caviar’s saltiness will enhance its licorice taste. Sparkling water is the most neutral choice because it leaves no aftertaste on the palate.

We’ll explore these and many other traditional and not-so-traditional options below and offer some great suggestions.

Traditional Caviar Pairings

Traditional Caviar Pairings

The traditional and obvious choice of drink with caviar is champagne or vodka. Champagne evokes the image of luxury. Vodka pays homage to caviar’s homelands.


Sweet or semi-sweet champagne won’t work with caviar because it is salty. Champagne should also be on the dry side—Brut and Extra Brut will work magic with caviar.

The caviar’s saltiness enhances the taste found in the champagne. The combination of caviar pearls and champagne bubbles creates a miniature fireworks’ explosion’ in the mouth.


Vodka is the classic pairing with caviar. The key is to buy the best quality vodka you can afford and to keep it in the freezer—don’t worry, the vodka cannot freeze because of its high alcohol content.

Wheat and rye-based vodkas are wonderful accompaniments to Ossetra caviar (also called Oscietra or Asestra)—it has a slight walnut aftertaste.

Because of vodka’s subtle taste, it allows the caviar to predominate the palate and taste receptors. The slight saltiness in the caviar enhances the vodka’s subtle taste.

Wheat and rye-based vodkas are wonderful accompaniments to Ossetra caviar (also called Oscietra or Asestra)—it has a slight walnut aftertaste.

Because of vodka’s subtle taste, it allows the caviar to predominate the palate and taste receptors. In turn, the slight saltiness in the caviar enhances the vodka’s subtle taste.

Other Perfect Caviar Pairings

Other Perfect Caviar Pairings

We could have stopped with champagne and vodka, but we shouldn’t. There is an entire world of flavors that complement caviar, and the reverse is true as well.

Caviar will show its bouquet of flavors when combined with opposite taste tasting notes found in the correct drink—most importantly—combining tastes should flatter one another and not work against each other.


They make Sherry from white wine grapes, and Palomino grapes feature prominently in dry versions of sherry. They use an interesting aging system called the solera—barrels of this fortified wine is kept at ambient temperature.

Instead of aging the sherry for a certain period, they remove portions of sherry from the oldest barrels and top it up with new stocks from ‘younger’ barrels above it.

Dry sherries, in order of dryness and salinity, are fino, manzanilla, amontillado, and oloroso. Oloroso can be sweet or dry—get the dry version.

Osetra caviar will pair exceptionally well with sherry, which will unlock the nutty and buttery texture of the caviar.

White Wine

If you ever have the pleasure of encountering the most sought-after and second-rarest type of caviar, Beluga, you want the wine to be in the background.

Beluga caviar imported from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions has been illegal worldwide since 2005 because of declining sturgeon populations. There is some hope, though, as local sturgeon farmers in Bascom, CITES have granted Florida the world’s first permit.

Wine is there to enhance the caviar. Hosts do not intend to be on equal footing with the caviar.

A good choice would be Chennin Blanc. Other chilled, fruity white wines are also a pleasant accompaniment to caviar but avoid wines with a heavy oak taste.


They brew Saké, much like beer—but also ferment it like wine—the koji-kin converts starches into sugar, which ferment into alcohol. Its most basic form comprises four ingredients: rice, water, yeast, and koji-kin.

Saké has lower acidity and no tannins, which makes it an excellent pairing with any type of caviar. Saké brings the caviar’s subtle tastes to the fore.


Absinthe deserves a special mention because it indulges the senses. As cold water drips onto the sugar cube, the absinthe in the glass takes on a milky appearance, or louche. They make it from wormwood and anise or fennel, and it has a licorice taste.

Absinthe might be a bit too overwhelming for caviar’s subtle taste—add enough water to make a palatable drink.

And don’t forget the sugar cube because it helps to tame the drink’s bitterness!

But in small sips with a bite of caviar, the briny flavor combined with a licorice taste will complement one another.


Cocktails may not be the first idea to jump at you when you think of caviar… Although there isn’t a perfect cocktail to drink with caviar, a few have traditionally been served along with caviar.


Antoine Peychaud created a Sazerac, one of the oldest cocktails in the world, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1838.

New Orleans also has a history of caviar consumption. It became a hotspot for caviar with the discovery of sturgeon in the Atchafalaya Basin during the 1920s.

This cocktail is potent with sweet and herbal notes, and the caviar’s saltiness creates an interesting combination where one complements the other.

French 75

Another classic is the French 75. The original recipe did not add gin but mix it whichever way you prefer.

The overall acidity of this cocktail, when combined with caviar, compliments one another. It also enhances the caviar’s taste.

Pimm’s Cup

A Pimm’s Cup, with its bitter herbal flavors balancing out the sweet-and-tart flavors from fizzy lemonade, was first served by James Pimm at his oyster bar.

The intention was to draw customers in and offer them a unique experience. It grew in popularity and became commercially available in 1859.

When you think about it, it all makes sense. Oysters are salty. Caviar is salty. The drink and caviar says summer like none other.

Sparkling Water

The purest choice of all is water. It refreshes the palate, leaving no aftertaste.

Cold sparkling water with a slice of lemon makes the perfect drink when you want to concentrate on the taste of the caviar only.


Drinking champagne or vodka with caviar are two of the traditional options. You can explore other options, such as a dry sherry or a light, fruity white wine as well. Saké can enhance your caviar’s taste—think about how it enhances the taste of sushi and oysters.

Our special mention is absinthe, although you won’t see the green fairy, it will open a world of tastes with caviar.

There are some cocktails that share a history with caviar. Enjoy a taste and a slice of history.

Last but not least, sparkling water is an underrated yet excellent choice—it doesn’t have an aftertaste and doesn’t clash with the caviar’s taste.

As with all things in life, enjoy and seek ethically sourced caviar.