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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, the “B-Lock”, is a brilliant puzzle as well. 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. 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!

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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

Nutmeg garnish

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.

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To read more about the un”B”lievable B-Lock see:

Boxes and Booze: The IDF – Part II

For prior Locks and Libations see: