We interrupt this broadcast of Boxes and Booze for another installment of Locks and Libations. This time we are toasting the “T9” puzzle lock from German artist Rainer Popp. I’ve got a great version of the Old Fashioned to pair it with, that perennial favorite and blueprint for the first cocktail ever, made classically with rye whiskey, sugar, and angostura bitters. It’s incredibly easy to make variations by switching up the ingredients or adding something extra. We’ve had more than our fair share of Old Fashioneds here before and even delved into the absurd origins of the cocktail itself. This version was created by mixologist John Santer, of Bruno’s and Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, to celebrate the release of Bulleit’s new bourbon in 2004. He uses coffee liqueur in place of simple sugar, swaps Angostura for orange bitters, and even finishes things off with a huge flourish by flaming the oils from an orange peel over the finished drink. Some say that’s how the drink became so popular, but I suspect it also has something to do with how tasty it is.


I’ve tinkered with the recipe once again for my own version, using High West Campfire (an incredible blend of Scotch, Bourbon and Rye with a nice peat reminiscent of the campfire) but staying true to the origins with some toasted cinnamon infused Bulleit Rye. For the coffee liqueur, it’s hard to beat the NOLA from the innovative distillers at St. George Spirits, with its distinct chicory undertones and bold coffee flavor. So saddle up, pardner, grab your six shooter (for your Bulleit rye), and let’s ride this one off into the sunset. Cheers.

Revolver by John Santer c. 2004 (adapted)

2 oz Bulleit Bourbon

½ oz coffee liqueur

2 dashes orange bitters

Stir ingredients together with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Flame an orange peel over the glass if you’re feeling flamboyant. Or flambé- ant…


For more about the thrilling Popplock T9 see:

Boxes and Booze: We All Want to Change the World

For more Old Fashioneds see:

What has life Tortoise?

Call Me Old Fashioned

Autumn Keys

Cabinet of Wonders