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Caviar of Cointreau Recipe

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The Cointreau caviar is a great way to bring molecular mixology to your drinks. The Cointreau caviar can be added to champagne, cosmopolitans, margaritas, sidecar and many other traditional cocktails to make them more interesting. This caviar is made using Basic Spherification.

Cointreau caviar was first launched in Paris in 2008 where it was presented to the greatest bartenders. After almost a year of research, the Cointreau team came up with the best formula to create the caviar and developed a caviar kit for bar tenders to be able to produce enough caviar really fast. The kit includes a magnetic agitator to mix the alginate without air bubbles in eight minutes instead of using an immersion blender and having to wait several hours for the air bubbles to disappear.

Cointreau caviar -720

The kit also includes a laboratory-quality precision scale, a pot of edible gold flakes and a caviar dispenser.

I don’t know what’s special about their formula but after a few tests I came up with this recipe that worked very well for me. I didn’t use gold flakes but you can add them to the alginate solution to make the caviar prettier.

Making spherification caviar is fun but it can be a draining process to make enough for a few cocktails or dishes one drop at a time using just a syringe or squeeze bottle. With the Caviar Maker you can now multiply the production by 96 times with no extra effort! You can purchase the Caviar Maker from our store.

Cointreau caviar with champagne -720

Caviar Ingredients

140 g (5oz) Cointreau

60 g (2oz) water (filtered water or with low calcium content)

1.6 g sodium alginate (0.8%)

Calcium Bath

500 g (18 oz) water

2.5 g calcium chloride


Start by preparing the calcium bath. Dissolve the calcium chloride in the water and keep it in the fridge while you prepare the Cointreau mix for the caviar.

Mix the sodium alginate in the water using an immersion blender until the sodium alginate is completely dissolved. If this is your first time doing this, be aware that this may take longer than expected.

Once the sodium alginate is dissolved, mix with the Cointreau.  Pass it through a sieve to eliminate some of the air bubbles created by the immersion blender. If you have gold flakes, this is when you should add them to the mix.

You are now ready to start creating the caviar! Remove the calcium bath from the fridge. Fill a syringe with the Cointreau mixture and expel it drop by drop into the calcium bath. The syringe needs to be high enough for the drops to sink when they get in contact with the bath but not too high or the drops may break into smaller drops creating “baby” spheres. Leave the caviar "cooking" for about 1 minute in the calcium bath and then carefully remove it using a sieve. Then rinse it very gently with water to remove the calcium.

Consume immediately since the jellification process continues even after removing the caviar from the calcium bath and will eventually convert into a solid gel sphere with no magical liquid inside. To improve the technique read 7 Tips for Making Spherification Caviar.

Serving suggestions 

- Add it to champagne, cosmopolitans, margaritas, sidecar

- Serve the cocktail with a side of Cointreau caviar by itself

- Use in desserts with chocolate, vanilla, orange or cranberries

  • Brian Thomas

    would it be possible to replace the cointreau with sangria? if not, do you know how to make sangria caviar?

    • Quantum Chef

      Yes, but you need to make sure the sangria is not too acidic. Jellification does not occur in basic Spherification if the liquid acidity is high (PH<5) but this can be corrected by adding sodium citrate to the liquid to reduce the acidity level before the spherification process. However, sodium citrate has a sour taste as well as a salty taste so adding too much of it will change the flavor of the sangria.

  • Brian Thomas

    I don’t have any sodium citrate, is there something else I could use? And how much should I use for 140 grams of sangria?

  • Brian Thomas

    Turns out I actually do have sodium citrate (just found it), but the question is still how much to add.

    • Quantum Chef

      It depends on the acidity of the sangria you make. You need to measure the PH with a PH meter and then add sodium citrate in small increments until you reach a PH of 5. If you don’t have a PH meter and don’t want to purchase one, you may have to be patient and add sodium citrate in increments of 0.1g/16oz until the basic spherification process is succesful.

  • Brian Thomas

    i definitely dont want to buy one, so ill do that. thanks!

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  • Gabryel Bertea

    hy , today i tried like @ 3 hours to make a rasberry / tequila caviar …but i was not so good …..i have all the ingredients ..SOSA brand …..can u tell me if that depends of the type of the alcohol witch i wanna make the main ingredient …or how ??? ….is a diffrent way of preparation when u try with alcohol …????

  • Tames68

    after making the caviar, will I be able to freeze them?

    • Anonymous

      Never tried. Sorry!

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  • Joehanessaragih

    I have tried it, because the result when We serve automatically float on top, not bubbling, and I kept on fridge, how to make it Bubbling?  

    • QuantumChef

      I am not sure I understand your question. Once you make the caviar you need to serve it immediately or it will have no liquid inside.

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  • Neivaldas Stukas

    sodium alginate?

  • Neivaldas Stukas

    Can I use agar instead soda alginate?

    • QuantumChef

      Unfortunately it won’ t work with agar.

  • Sph

    Thanks for the article! Quick question: what substance should the alginate/water/cointreau mixture have? Mine are fairly thick, but I doubt that is right. Thanks!

    • QuantumChef

      It should be somewhat thick because of the alginate. If it is getting too thick maybe you are using water that has some calcium content? Use distilled water instead.

  • Dippin Dot

    would it be possible to use a normal blender instead of an immersion blender

  • Rodney Graham

    Hi chef, ive trying to get more flavour into the caviars, i keep it quite easy using simple juices for example using apple could the juice be reduced or could i add apple flavouring essence to pack a bigger punch from a flavour point of view. Thanks

  • marko

    Hay, thanks for the recipe, worked perfect the first time.
    I did try it again with Sake, using the same ingredients but as soon as the Sodium Alginate was added its started to form a Jelly texture straight away, and after sitting to release the air, it even hard to get into the syringe. I tried using a little less SA but the same result. Did you have any suggestions of a different product to try at all by chance? Cheers.

    • QuantumChef

      From what you are saying it seems that the Sake you are using is high in calcium content and it is reacting with the sodium alginate.

      • Marko

        Do you know anything that could be used which wouldnt react? or something to use to counter act it?

    • QuantumChef

      You can try adding a sequestrant such as sodium citrate to the sake before adding the sodium alginate. Try with a concentration between 0.1% and 0.3%. I hope this helps!

  • bdevine

    can you substitute calcium lactate for calcium chloride? Are the ratios the same?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, you can. Ratios are not the same. You can read more about it here in the section “Preparing the Calcium Bath for Basic Spherification”

      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Caviar of Cointreau Recipe

  • Chester

    I keep getting a gelled liquid even though I am using distiller water. Is it possible the Cointreau contains calcium?

    • QuantumChef

      Are you consuming the caviar right away after rinsing it? Also, maybe you should remove the caviar sooner from the calcium bath. Are you using a caviar maker? With a syringe it is difficult to get enough caviar fast enough so that it is still liquid inside.

  • Luis Fernandes

    Can i use the sodiu alginate bath for this? because i dont have calcium chloride

  • Ana

    I tried it with mint liqueur but the drops float. What should I do?

  • Ana

    Also, the ones that sink, they stick together making them not caviar

    • QuantumChef

      This shouldn’t happen. Are you using the exact same recipe on this page? Do you actually see separate spheres that are just stuck together? Are they gelling?

  • Ana

    I tried it with mint liqueur but the drops float. What should I do?

    • QuantumChef

      It is probably because there are air bubbles in the mixture. Pass it through a fine sieve a few times and let it rest. If they still float, you can always use a spoon to create “waves” in the bath and cover them with calcium mix.

  • Michael315

    Hey Chef,
    I made a small test batch using a ginger simple syrup. It seemed to work well, but I later realized ginger has 16mg of calcium per 100g. Maybe I got lucky? My question is this: do you have any experience using this technique to serve a very large party? I have to serve 300 people basically a tablespoon of caviar (about 30 beads each) and am trying to calculate how much mix I should prepare to not run out. I have the 96 pipette caviar maker so that will help. Just wondering if it as simple as 500ml of mix yields approximately 500ml of caviar?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, it is about the same yield since there is very little waste.

  • help

    do you need to an immersion blender?

    • QuantumChef

      You can use a regular blender too but you may need to prepare more quantity so it blends as it should or maybe you can use one of those small single cup blenders, that should work too.

  • mentaltide

    can you float and suspend them in your drink or will they sink to the bottom ?

  • Todd

    Is it possible to make caviars that glows? with some type of light from the bottom?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, using quinine and a black light. Tonic water has quinine. Please share pics if you do it!

  • Paul Kneipp

    Hi. This recipe is supposed to be appropriate for all three kits, yet it says the kit includes a magnetic agitator and I don’t believe any of the kits do. OK, you can use the recipe without the agitator, but it takes a lot longer and I’ve just realised this half-way through the process,

    • QuantumChef

      Hi Paul, the recipes are assigned to the kits based on the special ingredients in the kit. You may sometimes find there is optional equipment/tools. In this case in particular, we didn’t use a magnetic agitator.

  • Krokodil Dundee

    You mention that the caviar will eventually gel into solid balls. Is the palatability of the solid caviar undesirable, or would they still be appreciated as alcohol flavored gel balls?

    • QuantumChef

      Taste is fine, there is no problem with consuming the caviar hours later, it just won’t have liquid inside.

      • Jack Lavalette

        Hi QuantumChef,

        As I understand it, the basic spherification keeps the liquid inside but only for 10 or 20 minutes as it will gradually solidify. On the other hand, the reverse sperification technique allows the liquids inside the caviar to remain there as the gelling process halts once washed in a water bath. Therefore my question is, other than that obvious distinction what other differences are there between the two techniques?

        I.e. why not just always do the reverse speherification technique as you’re guaranteed the liquid inside? If the only other difference is that the basic sperification method has a thinner skin is this a significant difference?

  • shenny costa

    how to store them? and how long does it stay

  • Jack Lavalette

    I have bought some calcium lactate to use for the reverse sperification technique. However, can I use the calcium lactate for basic sperification? i.e. use it in the calcium bath instead by doubling the amount required for the calcium chloride?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, you can do this. It would have to be 4X the amount but 2X should also work, it will just take longer and result in a softer membrane. More details here

      • Jack Lavalette

        Just to confirm – you would need to double the amount if it is calcium lactate and quadruple the amount if using calcium lactate gluconate. Thank you.

        • QuantumChef


  • gera

    is it possible to make caviar with bailey mint kind of drink?

    • QuantumChef

      Probably not since it contains calcium from the cream.

  • Lauren Sage Hayes

    Hi! How would these work if made from champagne or reduced champagne? I’m making strawberry champagne cupcakes for a baking competition and I would like to add these as decoration!

    • QuantumChef

      Just use champagne instead of the water and Cointreau.

  • Shirley Walker

    Can I make a gin and tonic sphere?