“Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered, weak and weary …” – “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe

Much like a puzzle box, a puzzle lock does not open as you imagine it should. There’s something so appealing about a secret lock which doesn’t open like it should – I suppose it’s the same something that draws me to boxes that don’t open the way they should, and hidden mechanisms in general. So I’ll ignore the raven, and rather than say “Nevermore”, I’ll raise a toast to this fine instalment in the Haleslock series. The “Raven” cocktail is my take on a recipe from “Alison’s Wonderland Recipes”, a delightful blog whose author’s creations are all based on works of literature. I took the liberty of increasing the atmospheric melancholy and funk, if you will, by using an agricole rhum, which is made from pure sugarcane rather than molasses. The resulting “rhum” is incredibly moody and delicious. Plus a special dose of dark rum to really set the tone – Poe is rather dark, after all. Finally my version needed a little amaro, that bitter Italian herbal potion, to capture the bittersweet depths of despair evoked in the poem … fine, and the lock, too. Thanks Shane Hales, the creator of this puzzle lock, and cheers!


The Raven – adapted from Alison’s Wonderland Recipes

  • 1 ½ oz white rhum agricole
  • ½ oz Plantation OFTD
  • 1 oz fresh lime
  • ½ oz pomegranate juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • ¼ oz Averna
  • 3 blackberries

Muddle the berries with the syrup and add the remaining ingredients. Shake with ice and double strain into a favorite glass. Garnish with something apro-Poe …


For more about the puzzling Haleslock 3 see:

Boxes and Booze: Nevermore!