The DishBhut jolokia, a.k.a. ghost chili pepper, is said to be the

The DishBhut jolokia, a.k.a. ghost chili pepper, is said to be the hottest pepper in the world. So, why on earth would anyone put it in their drink? We pondered this question as we sipped both a ghost chili-spiked mocha and fancy cocktail at two different establishments in Seattle, wondering who used the spice most effectively. Did we die and go to heaven or get totally burned? Bonfire vanity.The RivalsBedlam Coffee2231 2nd Ave., 910-2300This Belltown caffeine parlor is a fun and funky little space. The decor has a rock-star edge to it and the staff couldn’t be friendlier. It’s a coffee shop that oozes character and individuality. It’s a shame their coffee doesn’t live up to that same standard. The red flag rose as soon as we ordered the Bonfire Mocha ($3.50) — a double shot of espresso, steamed milk and Bedlam’s own Bonfire chocolate sauce made with ghost chilies. When we asked what brand of coffee they used, we were told by the barista that it was ‘a secret.’ Never a good sign. If you use a quality coffee, you should be proud to tell customers. S-E-C-R-E-T spells C-O-S-T-C-O in our book. Regardless, they have a pretty great spicy sauce made from ghost chili oil. We got a taste before they added the stuff to our mocha. Who knew that would be the best part of our visit? We watched as our barista steamed our milk with the chocolate simultaneously. Again, never a good sign. Adding a heavy condiment such as chocolate weighs down the milk, reducing froth. What we were presented with was a pretty drink with not much flavor or body. The foam was flat. So was the taste. This drink had a kick to it, but it would have been better as a simple hot chocolate with whipped cream. The coffee just made it taste strange and unidentifiable. On a happier note, Bluebird on Capitol Hill has created a Bonfire ice cream made with Bedlam’s Bonfire sauce. If we were you, we’d skip the cup and head straight for the cone. Blanco as a ghost. The Bal-Mar5449 Ballard Ave. N.W., 297-0500We expected a martini. What we got was a stubby little glass with a straw — the perfect combo when it comes to a drink packing this much punch. The Morricone ($11) is a mixture of cointreau, muddled cucumbers, lime, simple syrup and ghost chili-infused Don Julio Blanco tequila. The bartenders (or at least one of them) actually cold-infuse the tequila themselves by soaking three dried ghost chilies in a bottle of tequila for up to 20 hours in the freezer. The result is a fierce, biting liquid that wraps around your lips and throat until you scream uncle loud enough for everyone in the bar to hear. Surprisingly, when combined with the rest of the ingredients in the Morricone, it makes for a tasty drink. The cucumber and citrus take a bit of the edge off the otherwise burn-your-mouth-publicly cocktail. What makes this drink successful is its size; there’s no way in hell we could handle anything larger than this petite glass. It’s definitely a drink that you sip and enjoy. Slowly. The ChampThis was an easy call. While chocolate and spice are a natural pairing, the mocha and ghost chili pepper at Bedlam was not. The coffee (wherever it comes from) added absolutely nothing to the drink but a dull, nutty taste. We happily crown Bal-Mar the winner of this Versus challenge. The flavor of the muddled cucumber, lime and syrup with the infused tequila quenched our thirst for hotness. We’re looking forward to visiting this ghost again soon. Now, who’s got some ice cubes we can borrow?


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