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alessandro palazziThere aren't many invitations we'd turn down that include both vodka and caviar; and when you add in the presence of one of London's great cocktail maestros then we're a sure thing.

That's how one half of Hot Dinners found themselves yesterday evening at the Caviar House & Prunier on Piccadilly finally trying out drinks mixed by Alessandro Palazzi from Dukes Hotel. Alessandro's widely reputed to mix one of the meanest martinis in town and last night he was working with top organic vodka brand Snow Queen to knock up excellent cocktails to go with the seafood at Caviar House.

There were three on offer in total; Dukes Martini - straight vodka martini made with a vermouth from Highgate's Sacred Distillery which was paired with blinis and caviar. Then a Tiger Tanaka which saw Snow Queen vodka infused with ginger and orange and mixed with orange liquor and King Ginger Liquor which was served with Balik Sjomga smoked salmon. And finally in some ways the most successful pairing of a Snow Queen cucumber Martini served with an oyster with a chilli and coriander dressing.

To be quite frank, they were all rather marvellous. Our preference was for the Dukes Martini, but the fire of the chilli oyster and the cooling cucumber was also a raging success. If you fancy trying it for yourself, apparently Snow Queen is to be found in the bars at Dukes (of course), Nobu, The Connaught among others.

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