Where You Should Be Drinking Miami: Swine
I mentioned that I was on a long, tiring, two-week work trip south of Miami, emphasis on the south. After many dinners of Trader Joe’s hummus, carrots, and crackers, my final night there was earmarked for something hot, something delicious.
Say hello to Swine. Located on the Miracle Mile of Florida in Coral Gables, a mile–as you’d expect–that is bursting with bars and shops and, of course, lacking in parking, but par for the course.
It’s hard to not expect good things from a restaurant whose url is runpigrun.com. We’re off to a good start before I’ve ever stepped inside. Dining and drinking solo aren’t my favorite, but when you have staff who are s friendly, attentive, and just the right amount of chatty, like they were at Swine, it makes your oneness more enjoyable. Swine is southern bbq meets South Florida flavors. Their cocktail menu is solid, but when I tell you about my cocktail experience there, you’ll be even more sold.
What the Waiter Recommended:
- Blackberry Bourbon Smash: Buffalo Trace bourbon, blackberries, mint, lemon, and club soda
- Swine Old Fashioned: bacon-washed Rittenhouse rye, maple syrup, and house made Swine bitters
My ever so friendly waiter pointed out these two drinks. While the Swine Old Fashioned sounded good, it was far too close to this drink we served at an event a few months ago. When he explained how maple in whiskey might sound unusual but was a delicious combination, I tried to shrug off a humble, ‘yea I can imagine’ when really I was thinking ‘I know! You’re not the first to think of this!’.
In general, if the waiter points out two drinks before I even ask I’ll go with his suggestion, but the problem was that the only other cocktail I had in Florida was a whiskey drink; and I was really in a clear liquor mood.
What I ordered
- Don’t Tell Cece: Bombay East, strawberry-basil shrub, lemon juice and pink peppercorn
So, probably much to the waiter’s chagrin, I ordered this one, as it was one of the few vodka drinks. And we’ve been on such a shrub kick this summer, I really wanted to see how they used it.
What I Thought
Don’t Tell Cece was beautiful. The shrub and the lemon blended so nicely, creating a smooth tasting but slightly tangy sweetness to the drink. And you can never go wrong with a drink topped with foam. While I thought it was delicious, the shrub and the lemon completely overpowered any semblance of vodka, which was likely the point of the drink and something I should have expected. I was too tired to care, knew it was my own fault, and had come to terms that at a minimum the pictures were beautiful.
So, while you might think less of me, here is where my waiter is even more amazing. He noticed that I hadn’t made much progress on my drink; so when he asked if anything was wrong I confessed it was slightly too sweet. Literally before I could say anything else he had swooped it away and removed it from my bill. But then, HE returned with a new drink. He knew I wanted vodka so they turned their blackberry smash from a whiskey drink into a vodka drink. The sentiment, and the actual drink, won me over, heart and mouth. T’was a very sweet end to a very long trip.
The smash was smooth on the tongue, but still had that vodka-y taste I was looking for. And the beauty of smashes, as we’ve mentioned (here and here and here), is that you can literally make them just about anywhere with anything from fresh fruit to jam and with any type of liquor.
Blackberry Vodka Smash Cocktail Recipe
- 3-4 blackberries
- 3-4 mint leaves
- 2oz vodka
- 1oz simple syrup
- 1oz lemon juice
- Club soda
- In a highball glass, muddle mint, blackberries, and simple syrup
- Add vodka and lemon juice
- Add ice
- Top with soda