The next offering in the Locks and Libations series follows naturally after the famous DanLock from Dan Feldman. Locks appear to run in this family, and it should come as no surprise that the debut from Dan’s son Boaz is a brilliant puzzle as well. Growing up in a house full of puzzles must have had something to do with it.
|B-Lock by Boaz Feldman|
Boaz Feldman recounts that solving puzzles of all kinds was common and ubiquitous in his home as a child. He practiced lock-picking from an early age as well, before these techniques could be readily discovered on the internet. He loves magic and music, and was a magician and drummer to make money during his University days when he studied Computer Science. He now works in the software industry. When he began to participate in the IPP, he remembers meeting people for the first time who knew his father, and who mentioned how much they loved the DanLock. It was clear to him that he wanted to create another lock puzzle to exchange with everyone, which would bring something new and fresh, and the B-Lock was the result. From the response it generated, he feels gratified that he succeeded.
|Boaz's blocked BLock|
The B-Lock is as simple in presentation as a lock puzzle can get. It’s another standard Nabob brass lock with a steel shackle, which is a bit smaller than the DanLock. There is a simple key, attached with a removable string just to keep it all together. There’s no point in trying to use the key, though, because the keyhole is blocked. The B-Lock is clever in many ways, including the very name of the puzzle, which is a fun play on words. Boaz took his cue from his father’s famous lock which bears his first name (Dan) and applied the same treatment to his own lock, the “B”oaz Lock. He tells a funny story of how he originally meant to use his nickname “Bo” and call it the “Bo-Lock”, until people pointed out he might not want his puzzle to be thought of as “bollocks”! The B-Lock works much better, and doubly refers to the fact that this is in fact a block-ed lock. Once again Boaz worked with Israel Barzilai of the Nabob lock company to produce the modified B-Lock, which is truly a surprising and delightfully sneaky puzzle lock. Luckily, Boaz plans to create more puzzle locks in the future and continue the family tradition.
|Billows and Thieves by Mike Di Tota|
I’ve paired the B-Lock with an incredible unlocked cocktail from one of the most innovative zero-proof mixologists around, Mike Di Tota from New York. He is the General Manager and Bar Director at The Bonnie in Astoria, Queens, where he created a number of sophisticated zero-proof cocktails this year for their “Dry January” menu. He also holds a degree in botany from the New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture, giving him a much deeper understanding of the origins from roots, bark, seeds, stems, herbs and flowers of the tools of his spirits trade.
|A fantastic fusion of flavors|
His Billows and Thieves starts with a base of fresh grapefruit juice, and of course I used Texas ruby red Rio Star, an ingredient I have raved about before and swear is the best in the world. Add to that a jolt of cold-brewed coffee and things are starting to get interesting. To sweeten things up he adds a black cardamom-cinnamon syrup which adds an amazing burst of flavor. Finally some fresh lemon and smoked sea salt round out this amazing cocktail, which will sharpen your senses, rather than dull them. Mike was thinking of pirates when he named this cocktail, but you don't have to plunder on the high seas to enjoy one of these delicious drinks. Shake one of these up next time you want to be drinking without drinking, and unlock a whole new experience. Here’s to sneaky solutions, tricky tipples and deceptive delights. Cheers!
|This pair is truly un-B-lievable|
Billows and Thieves by Mike Di Tota
3 oz fresh grapefruit
1 oz cold-brew coffee
½ oz black cardamom-cinnamon syrup*
½ oz fresh lemon
Pinch smoked sea salt
Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Dust nutmeg on top.
*black cardamom-cinnamon syrup: toast 2 smashed cinnamon sticks over medium heat until they become aromatic and begin to crackle, then remove. Combine 1 cup maple syrup with ½ cup water and heat to dissolve, then add back the toasted cinnamon sticks plus 3 smashed black cardamom pods. Simmer for a few minutes then allow to cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup and bottle.
|The Feldman family tradition continues|
The B-Lock by Boaz Feldman (and new DanLock) can be ordered by contacting:
For prior Locks and Libations see: