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Drink of the Week: Groundhog at Luca D'Italia

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They say that Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, did not see his shadow in Pennsylvania this morning, which means it will be an early spring. For those of us who've suffered through Denver's sub-zero temperatures these last few days, that's hopeful news -- but we also know from years past that Phil is often less than accurate.

So for now, I'm concentrating on predictions that are guaranteed to come true. Such as this one: Order a Groundhog at ($12) at Luca D'Italia today, and you won't care how cold it is outside. The cocktail has both the edge of winter, thanks to Averna, as well as a sparkling hint of spring added by ginger ale and a squeeze of lemon. This drink combines bitter, sweet and acid in one delicious glass.

As for the name, a customer came in to Luca and ordered Averna and ginger ale; the bartender thought he asked for a Greyhound -- and somehow, the Groundhog was born. I'd be only too happy to celebrate Groundhog Day every day, so long as I'm sitting at Luca's cozy bar and seeing the shadow of another Groundhog coming my way.

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