Which Colorado establishment sells the most Bacardi rum? I wouldn't have guessed Samba Room, but when Tim Maness, executive chef and managing partner, told me that this Larimer Square establishment serves between 1,100 and 1,600 mojitos each week, the answer made sense. The bar also goes through ten pounds -- that's about two chihuahuas worth -- of mint every seven days. I might have consumed about a tenth of Samba Room's weekly mojito quota on my own -- the Frozen South Beach Mojito ($7), made with Bacardi Limon, Triple Sec, fresh mint and lime juice frozen and blended into a glacé with a Bacardi 151 float, was particularly tasty -- if I hadn't noticed a big bottle of Navan, the new cognac from Grand Marnier. Unlike the orange-peel-infused cognac that Grand Marnier's famous for, this vanilla cognac doesn't make me think of the goofy Saturday Night Live skit called "The Ladies Man." So after I spotted that bottle on the well-stocked shelves, I had to order a Vanilla Bean Key Lime Margarita ($9), made with Navan, Corzo Tequila, fresh-squeezed key limes, and orange, lime and apple juices. It was astonishingly potent and delicious -- made even more enjoyable by the fact that during the daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., most cocktails are only half price. So on the next hot night, dance into the Samba Room for a little liquid refreshment. Or a lot of it.
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