Saturday, November 21, 2020

Loafing Around

 “I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.” – Oprah Winfrey

Things are afoot here at Boxes and Booze, and there’s no time to loaf(er) around. Fresh off the heels of the brass beer stein from Rocky Chiarro comes the next step in this series, surely a shoe-in for a favorite.

Lo-Fer by Rocky Chiarro

Rocky may have created his first interlocking puzzle in brass while in the Navy seventy years ago, but that puzzle would not stay together. It would be another thirty years before he created a version with a central locking pin.  Around that time that he chanced upon an add in a woodworking magazine for "Puzzles Wanted".  He answered it on a whim, sending his design to none other than Jerry Slocum, who loved it and ordered a few copies. That was when his hobby became his second act, and his "retirement" turned into his "Brass Puzzles by Rocky" which are prized by collectors around the world.

Shoe-in for a favorite

The Lo-Fer puzzle box is Rocky’s homage to the classic “psycho snuff box”, a Victorian era design for pocket snuff containers which featured a multi-layered lid which locked in a mysterious and puzzling fashion. Such boxes took on various appearances, including that of a little shoe. Rocky recreated his design to mimic one of these antique shoe puzzle boxes, in his signature shiny brass style.

Shoe Maker by Joann Spiegel

A proper toast that can go toe to toe with the Lo-Fer should have some spring in its step and be laced with spirit. We find what we are looking for in the Shoe Maker, an Irish jig from New York’s Joann Spiegel of The Dead Rabbit Grog and Grocery (winner of Best Bar in the World, more than once). A native of Cork, Ireland, she is currently Director of Operations at Cocktail Kingdom, the industry equipment standard bearer.

Irish whiskey never had it so good

She developed the drink in partnership with Knappogue Castle, an award winning fine Irish whiskey distillery. The cocktail is a delicious Old Fashioned, with Irish whiskey and in the “cherry and an orange style”. She adds dry fino sherry for perfect balance, to lengthen the drink and shift categories. It’s a lovely way to appreciate a good Irish whiskey and perfect for the cooler weather. Cheers!

If the shoe fits, pair it

Shoe Maker by Joann Spiegel

2 oz Irish whiskey (Knappogue Castle 12-year single malt, preferred)

1 oz fino sherry

½ oz sugar syrup

1 d orange bitters

2 raspberries

1 orange slice

Muddle the raspberries, orange, bitters and syrup in a tin, then add the whiskey and sherry and shake with ice. Strain to an Old Fashioned glass, express and orange peel over the drink and garnish with mint and raspberries.

For more about Rocky Chiarro:


Brass Glass

In Bloom

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