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BITTERS: Tasting Notes | Curious Elixirs, A Curiously Delicious Pairing – Curious No. 2

With Peruvian-Style Ceviche by Chef Camille Le Caër.

Tasting Notes

Curious Elixirs are a layered nuanced approach to non-alcoholic beverages. These drinks invite you to sip and reflect on what your mouth is experiencing. All Curious Elixirs are made with organic ingredients whenever possible, and No. 1 through 4 are Whole30 compliant, meaning they contain no added sugar. No. 2 is a marriage of spicy pineapple margarita and dark & stormy. Ancho chili, jalapeño, and ginger are bright on the palate and Damiana (an ancient Mayan herb) helps the body unwind. These prepackaged craft beverages arrive at your door ready to serve but, while sampling my way through each elixir, I became curious about mixing things up a little.

To maintain the bold flavor of this spicy ginger beverage, I decided on a dash of pear nectar to round out the overall flavors. I met with Chef Camille Le Caër at Artisan Kitchens and Baths to introduce him to Curious No. 2 and gather his culinary input on a perfect food pairing. Curious No. 2 contains: carbonated filtered water, organic pineapple, orange, and lime juice concentrate with extracts of red chili and smoked sea salt. Bright citrus flavors in this drink shine when serving this beverage in a salt-rimmed glass over ice.

Food Pairing

Ingredients:

  • Halibut -diced
  • Shrimp -keep tails on for easy handling
  • Peruvian corn roasted canola oil, roast until you hear it pop
  • Lime – zest, juice and pulp
  • Jalapeno
  • Guacamole puree
  • Shallot – Julienned
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sweet potato steamed in salt water, pressed in pastry bag
  • Low/medium heat
  • Salt and Ground Peppercorn

Chef Camille walked us through an authentic Peruvian Ceviche with shrimp and halibut.

Ceviche is fresh seafood steeped in an acidic marinade, like lime or lemon. The acid from the citrus generates a low enough pH to denature the fish protein the way heating it would. According to Chef Camille, diced halibut is perfect for ceviche. He also recommends keeping the tails on shrimp for easy handling.

Chef begins by prepping a metal bowl that sits in a salted ice bath. Adding Kosher salt to your ice will soak up any excess moisture as ice melts and prevent the top bowl from dancing around. You can swap out the seafood in this recipe but, authentic Peruvian Ceviche basics include shallot onions, sweet potatoes, limes, cilantro, and Peruvian corn. He roasts the Peruvian corn and shrimp in an oiled pan over low heat and emphasizes how finely chopping the cilantro and shallots is necessary.

He combines julienne shallot, chopped cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice, pulp, and zest with the diced halibut and shrimp. Off to the side of the action –are two pastry bags, one containing steamed salted sweet potato and the other, guacamole. Chef carefully plates the ceviche adding the roasted corn. Then pipes a bit of sweet potato and guacamole onto the dish. Bon appetite! The bright and slightly salty citrus flavors of the ceviche and Curious No. 2 make a delightful duo.

Curious Elixirs can be purchased online or enjoyed at Michelin star restaurants like Cote, French Laundry, and Daniel. These low-calorie 100% vegan craft beverages are sure to be a hit at any holiday event.

About Chef Camille Le Caër

Chef Camille hails from Brittany, France. His passion and love for food initiated from his grandmother’s passion for preparing family meals. At 13, his family encouraged him to attend Lyceé Hôtelier of Dinard, where vocational training represents more than half of the high school curriculum. Camille began working with pastry at 15 years old, at an internship with the Ritz Carlton in Paris. After graduation, Camille continued his culinary education at CFA de Ploufragan and CFA Ceproc as a Pâtissier Apprentice. His first position in the USA was as a Pastry Chef at the famed French restaurant Bagatelle, in the heart of the Meat Packing District in Manhattan. Camille then became an Executive Pastry Chef at Crêpe Sucre, also in NYC. Camille was the Executive Pastry Chef at both Giancarlo’s (Williamsville, NY) and Lombardo’s (Buffalo, NY) restaurants, before opening his widely acclaimed Pâtisserie on Hertel Avenue, called Pastry by Camille. The café served exquisite baguettes and French pastry, but the main reasons people flocked to his restaurant were the delicious crêpes, the magnificent macarons, and Camille’s exuberant personality. Working as a Private Chef enables Camille to create his own schedule and spend more time with his two young children. Formally trained in French, Italian and Turkish cuisine, Camille is able to offer a wide selection of both sweet and savory items. Camille is available for catering small parties, delighting diners with his skills as a private chef, and also for teaching Masterclass events in your home. It is an experience like no other.


About Curious Elixirs

Curious Elixirs are booze-free craft cocktails, infused with adaptogens to help you unwind. Whether you’re sober or sober curious, toasting your team or sipping solo, Curious Elixirs is on a mission to create the world’s most sophisticated cocktails, without the alcohol. Inspired by classics like the Aperol Spritz, the Spicy Margarita, and the Negroni, every Curious Elixir is handcrafted with organic ingredients and no refined sugar. Our ingredients include adaptogens and plants that benefit your body, helping you relax and destress without the hangover. We offer one-time orders as well as our subscribers-only Curious Cocktail Club to ensure your fridge stays stocked. Order Curious Elixirs online, and have it shipped directly to your door at Curiouselixirs.com.

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View other videos in the Bitters series.


Author and host, Michelle Merlo
Photography by Vincent Berbano
Executive Producer, Jessica Marinelli
Special thanks to Chef Camille Le Caër

Written by Michelle Merlo

Michelle Merlo

Michelle Merlo is a mixographer and food enthusiast. She helped run the cocktail program at Roost and Inizio. Before that, she was shaking up concoctions at Buffalo Distilling Company and Bobo in NYC. These days you can find her behind the pine at Oliver’s. Michelle is our resident cocktailier and the host of Buffalo Rising’s cocktail series, BITTERS

View All Articles by Michelle Merlo
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