Despite vodka coming in every flavor from salmon to fresh cut grass to electricity, distillers haven’t been able to effectively put caviar — the ultimate food symbol of luxury — into the bottle. The little eggs burst, turning the liquor into an unappetizing, rotten smelling milky white. Until now, thanks to a patented technology borrowed from the skin-care industry.
The vodka is called L’Orbe, and it’s made by Pernod Ricard. If you’re thinking this all sounds a bit expensive, you’d be right: It runs for more than $200 per 200 milliliter bottle (about a cup). The sturgeon eggs sit in a column in the middle of the bottle that’s poked through with six tiny holes. The caviar itself has a film around it that allows the eggs’ buttery and nutty flavors to seep into the vodka while keeping the liquor clear and rot-smell free.
“Compared to premium vodka or even the ultra-premium, we are really in a very niche space,” Alain Dufosse, leader of the Pernod Ricard Paris innovation team, told Bloomberg. “Vodka is very crowded. It’s becoming extremely competitive, but this is an infusion nobody is able to perform unless they have the technology.”
Which means you can thank technology for putting the “peanut butter and jelly of luxury pairings” into a single bottle. Dufosse refused to tell Bloomberg how much that technology actually cost Pernod Ricard. We can only assume that the (probably) very high cost of staying competitive in the $18 billion annual vodka market is worth it in some way, even if it is only worth it to the people who appreciate vodka and caviar pairings.
Regardless, if you want to sip America’s spirit with caviar class, the technology is out there to make it happen.