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Challenging Elements: Cantina Laredo


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A few months ago, Robbie Wright, the general manager of Cantina Laredo at the 29th Street Mall in Boulder asked us why we don’t have a challenge for bartenders. We didn’t have a good answer for him, so we decided to let him and his bartenders be our test case.

Because of the season, we wanted to give them a pumpkin liqueur to play with, but alas, the distributor told us that it wasn’t available in Colorado. So, we went with a Godiva Chocolate Liqueur—much easier, but still playing on a trick-or-treat sort of theme. After all, an October without chocolate is a lot like December without presents or March without beer.

Wright and his bartenders, Erin Eidsmess and Heath Arnold, brainstormed together and came up with a phantasmagorical creation they called “chocolate fantasma”—the chocolate ghost. Starting with a chilled martini glass, liberally swirled with chocolate sauce, they added three quarters of an ounce of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, a quarter of an ounce of Grand Marnier and an ounce of Patron Café tequila. The liqueurs are topped with a layer of heavy whipping cream, then topped off with pumpkin pie spices and an Andes mint for garnish.

The tequila seemed a bold—and yes, odd—choice to mix with chocolate, but not out of the realm of possibility, especially considering that Cantina Laredo serves up a menu of spicy gourmet Mexican favorites. We thought, you can’t read a book by its cover and you can’t judge a cocktail by its recipe. So, drink up we did.

Heady and sweet, the chocolate fantasma is dangerously rich and full of flavor. The fantasma doesn’t have a strong chocolate taste, but it’s definitely there, mingling with the smoothness of the cream and the little hint of spice. The tequila is a little stronger than I like in desserty drinks; it’s definitely recognizable amid the other flavors. If you like your drinks subtle and demure, this isn’t it. But if you want something a little different and a little verbose, the chocolate fantasma should be very appealing.

As far as creativity goes, we give Cantina Laredo props. It takes cajones to create something like the fantasma. Taste it for yourself and let us know what you think.

The Chocolate Fantasma will be available through October at Cantina Laredo, 1680 29th Street in Boulder. Call 303.444.2260 or visit cantinalaredo.com for information.

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Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google

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