Flavor-infused vodka is nothing new, but usually the flavors are sweet and candy-like and used to mask a subpar spirit. Pernod Ricard’s latest luxury vodka may be flavor-infused, but the similarities end there.
L’Orbe is a premium vodka produced at Perno Ricard’s Absolut distillery in Sweden, but inside the bottle is something incredibly unique. Suspended in a column running through the middle of the bottle is caviar — sturgeon eggs to be exact. And thanks to some surprisingly intricate technology, those fish eggs are able to infuse the spirit with their complex flavors without spoiling the vodka.
It seems so easy. Drop a spoonful of caviar in a bottle of vodka, let it sit, and Bob’s your uncle — you’ve got caviar infused vodka! But when actually attempted, the caviar exploded, turning the vodka cloudy while creating a foul-smelling concoction in the process. In order to keep the caviar fresh while it infused its delicate flavor, the distiller turned to the cosmetics industry.
Using a patented technology developed by French cosmetic products manufacturer Capsum, the caviar is coated with a water-based film that keeps the precious eggs from exploding and spoiling while they sit in the liquid. Of course, this process and premium ingredients come at a price; L’Orbe goes for over $200 per 20-centiliter bottle, so the Pinnacle Whipped crowd probably won’t be drinking it anytime soon.