| Booze |

Gaetano's pours on the cello -- and gives customers an opportunity to make their own

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

For years, Gaetano's, the iconic neighborhood Italian joint at 3760 Tejon Street, has billed itself as "Italian to die for." And now it's pouring cello, the potent Italian liquid that infuses fruit with vodka and packs the kind of lethal punch that knocks you on your ass in no time flat.

But while most restaurants and bars only pour lime, orange or limoncello, Gaetano's bar manager, Diane Schwender, is house-infusing more than twenty cellos -- and they're not all citrus-based. She's trotting out bacon cello, blueberry cello, artichoke cello, pistachio cello and mint cello, right alongside almond, apple, mango, coffee and cinnamon. "We wanted to do twists on the classic Italian digestive, and it started out purely experimental, but now I'm going crazy with it," says Schwender. "This is an old restaurant, and we have some fantastic classic cocktails, but we also wanted to do some new and exciting things with our beverage program, and so far, people are really excited about it."

The staff -- everyone from line cooks to servers -- are in on the action, too, infusing cellos of their own in the restaurant's basement, but Schwender is also encouraging customers to come in with their own ideas to make cello. We'll give you a big jar and the Everclear, let you can infuse it with whatever you want, and then we'll sell it," she says.

The other night when I was bellied up to the bar at Gaetano's, I tried a flight of cellos, available for $7, that included the bacon, the blueberry spiked with simple syrup and the pistachio, which was earthy, but hard-core. And then I fell over.

If you want to try your hand at infusing your own cellos, call Schwender at 303-455-9852, or just stop by the bar with your next Big Idea.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.