On a recent Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves in hog heaven, otherwise known as Cochon555 Heritage BBQ. The touring competitive culinary event centers on five chefs cooking five Heritage breed pigs to feed diners at a tasting reception. The Cochon555 Miami edition was held at The Ritz-Carlton on South Beach.
To compliment the feast were over a dozen of chef-crafted cocktails, plus sips on boutique wines, choice spirits, and artisanal brews. Here are our favorite cocktails that we went whole hog on.
Rouge Luxure, Speyside Lemonade and Charc(old) Fashioned at Cochon555
This glamorous cocktail drank as rich as it looks! Glenfiddich 15-year-old Solera Reserve, Lustau oloroso sherry, Cardamaro, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, Angostura bitters, Regan’s orange bitters, and cored strawberries.
The color may be gray, but there’s nothing dull about this interesting take on the classic Old Fashioned, -made with 14 year old bourbon barrel reserve, Ancho Reyes, Lustau PX sherry, St. George Nola coffee liqueur, and Angostura bitters.
Single malt scotch isn’t just for sipping! Made with 12-year old single malt scotch, honey syrup, marmalade, lemon juice, and Topo Chico mineral water, this citrusy cocktail, nicely balanced between sweet and tart, paired well with the Korean Pork Belly from Chef Blair Wilson of The Social Club (1717 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL at The Surfcomber Hotel, South Beach, socialclubatsurfcomber.com)
Alongside the food competition is an awesome bartender competition called Punch Kings. The city’s best bartenders are challenged to create a punch bowl with a whole bottle of Breckenridge Bourbon to compete for the title of Punch King or Queen. The Miami winner was Ben Jewell of El Grito who won with his Haza Yo Faza Punch.
Haza Yo Faza Punch
Made with Breckenridge Bourbon, Tepache (a Mexican street-style, fermented pineapple beverage), Mezcal Espadin, chocolate & banana syrups, Angostura aromatic and orange bitters, the exotic punch from Jewell of El Grito (1766 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL (South Beach), 914-844-3640, elgritomiami.com, @elgritomiami) paired well with Pork Belly Nachos from Chef Paula DeSilva of Artisan Beach House. Served over a big ice cube, with a dusting of nutmeg, then, garnished with canela (Mexican cinnamon) and pineapple leaf.
Incidentally, Chef DeSilva was crowned ‘Princess of Porc’ as the winner of the regional event, and will go on to compete for the national title of ‘King or Queen of Porc’ at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, held on October 1st in Chicago.
For more details, visit cochon555.com.