Rainer Popp is a German craftsman who has turned his passion for restoring and collecting vintage antique locks into his own brand of modern day puzzle locks. Because of his skill and creativity, many believe that he is the greatest puzzle lock maker living today. In keeping with the Locks and Libations theme I am presenting another “unlocked cocktail” to pair with his masterpiece, the “T11”. It’s also a fitting end for “Negroni Week”, the international charity event which ran from June 4-11 this year. It’s quite challenging to create a good non-alcoholic Negroni substitute, since the original drink calls for equal parts of three distinct spirits and has no juices, syrups or tonics. An unusual approach which works is to use high quality cold press coffee, which brings acidity and balanced bitterness to the drink. Madcap Coffee Company from Grand Rapids Michigan has done an impressive job with this creation, their “Worlds Collide” coffee negroni. The name is a nod to the mashup of the coffee and spirits industries, as well as the international combination of flavors found in the drink. I think the name perfectly reflects the remarkable achievement of Rainer Popp’s T11 as well. The drink incorporates Madcap’s Double Third Coast espresso with a homemade orange - pink peppercorn syrup and berry shrub. Like the original Negroni and the T11, this drink is an acquired taste, a challenge to the palate and senses, and while you may not solve its nuances immediately, you can enjoy it for the beauty of its construction and appearance alone. Here’s to unlocking life’s greatest challenges. Cheers!


World’s Collide by Trevor Corlett

½ oz orange-peppercorn syrup

2 oz espresso (Third Coast)

1 oz sparkling water

¼ oz berry shrub

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Add syrup and coffee to an ice filled glass and stir to chill. Strain into a fresh glass, top with sparkling water, shrub and bitters and stir. Garnish with the key to a great challenge.


For more about Rainer Popp’s laudable lock see:

Boxes and Booze: Lockstep

For prior unlocked cocktails:

Unlocked Negroni
Tea Time
Stop and Go
Billows and Thieves