Here’s How to Make Tango Room’s Famous Caviar Martini at Home
Or get it at the Dallas steakhouse, alongside a wagyu beef taster
At its core, the martini seems like a simple drink. Gin or vodka is combined with dry vermouth and perhaps some orange bitters or a dash of olive juice, depending on the drinker’s preference. It’s stirred or shaken accordingly and served ice-cold. But within that relatively narrow recipe lives a multitude of options for customization, and that’s before you get into bastardizations that amend the ’tini suffix to their names but don’t actually resemble the classic.
Tango Room in Dallas is a modern steakhouse where ribeyes and New York strips are served alongside lobster corn dogs and duck wings, so it doesn’t take itself too seriously. But it also doesn’t shy away from luxury, as seen in a wine list stocked with rare bottles and the liberal attitude to caviar, which is employed for everything from the deviled eggs to the cocktails.
The bar’s Caviar Martini features ultra-premium Belvedere Lake Bartezek Single Estate Rye Vodka from Poland, plus Combier Kümmel and PEI oyster shell-infused Spanish vermouth. The showstopper is the optional garnish, which sees a spoonful of Osetra caviar dressed with jammy sous vide egg yolk, seasoned bread crumbs and chives.
To make the infused vermouth, the bar uses a hammer to crush the oyster shells, adds them to a sealed container with the vermouth, and then lets the mixture sit for a minimum of 10 days.
Bar manager Rye Patton tells InsideHook that the vodka provides the textural qualities he wants, while the kümmel liqueur brings flavors of caraway, coriander and cumin. The vermouth lends flavors of marjoram and chamomile, and the oyster shell infusion brings minerality and ocean essences to the drink.
As for the garnish, Patton says that each ingredient on the spoon connects to a companion in the cocktail. “The oyster shell to the caviar, the bread crumbs to the caraway and coriander, and the lemon and herbs from the vermouth play off of the egg yolk,” he says.
Believe it or not, that’s the toned-down version of this decadent drink. Guests who really want to go for it can pair the Martini with a little half-ounce taster of A5 wagyu beef from Hokkaido, Japan. In that case, the caviar garnish is applied to the seasoned and seared meat. Take a sip, take a bite and let slip an embarrassing little moan as your eyes roll back in your head.
Patton says that pairing the Caviar Martini with the A5 beef is all about textural complexity and temperature juxtaposition. The warm, seared meat stands out against the cold drink, and its high fat content complements the caviar’s inherent salinity and plays against the dry vodka and herbal kümmel.
The Caviar Martini is a favorite order for some in-the-know Tango Room customers. Here’s how to recreate the cocktail at home with the below recipe, but sometimes it’s best to leave such things to the professionals. Especially where oyster shell infusions are concerned.
Bourbon Is the Theme at This New Texas Hill Country Getaway
Go for the whiskey, stargazing and glow-in-the-dark fly-fishing
Tango Room’s Caviar Martini
- 3 oz. Belvedere Lake Bartezek Single Estate Rye Vodka
- ½ oz. oyster shell-infused Lustau Vermut Blanco
- ¼ oz. Combier Kümmel
- 1 lemon peel
- Garnish: Osetra caviar, egg yolk jam, seasoned bread crumbs and chive baton
To make the drink
1. Add the vodka, vermouth and kümmel into a mixing glass and fill with ice.
2. Stir at a medium pace for 30 rotations.
3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
4. Express lemon oils onto the cocktail and discard the peel.
To make the garnish
1. Dress the caviar with egg yolk jam and seasoned bread crumbs.
2. Top with a chive baton.
3. Serve in a spoon alongside or atop the cocktail.
The Secret to Great Cocktails? Find Out in The Spill.
Suggested for you