Cocktails & Spirits

Miami's Best Eats & Drinks This Weekend: Cochon 555, Rum Renaissance, and Celebrity Brunch

This weekend is huge! Big! Enormous! So large, in fact, that you're going to have to clone yourself to take in all the events happening. From drinking rum to eating mud bugs and celebrating heritage pigs, you might want to take Monday off  — which also happens to be 4/20. 

Weekend starts now!
Paella Festival at Fritz & Franz Bierhaus
Fritz & Franz' 12th annual Paella-fest runs all weekend with live music, drinks specials, and, of course, paella. The party runs on Friday, April 17, from 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, April 18, from 2 to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, April 19, from noon to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 a person, paella is $10-15, sangria is $8, beer and shots $5, wine $7-9, and cocktails $11. 
Cochon 555
The intoxicating scent of bacon will waft through the Loews Miami Beach Hotel this Sunday, April 19, when Cochon 555 returns to Miami. This celebration of the pig sees five chefs using five heritage pigs to make five dishes each — utilizing the entire animal from snout to tail. The chefs up to the task include Lindsay Autry of Fin & Feather, Xavier Torres of Drunken Dragon, Todd Erickson of Haven, Jason Pringle of DB Bistro Moderne, and Richard Hales of Blackbrick. There's also a butchering demonstration, fine wines, and plenty of bourbon. It's a good time for everyone — except, of course, those five oinkers. Cochon 555 starts at 5 p.m. and tickets are $125 general admission and $200 VIP (which includes early admission at 4 p.m.), and can be purchased at
Rum Renaissance Festival
The Miami Rum Renaissance festival returns this weekend to the Doubletree by Hilton/Miami Airport Convention Center on April 17 through 19. Thousands of people, from restaurant owners to spirits enthusiasts to pirates will gather over three days to sample hundreds of fine rums — many of them rare expressions not even available for sale in the United States. Of course, there are also cocktails, music, and a general amount of fun. Because, as festival founder Robert Burr always says, "rum is fun." Can't argue with logic. Saturday's grand tasting runs from 1 to 6 p.m. and is $75, and Sunday's runs from 1 to 6 p.m. and is $50. A three-day VIP ticket costs $100 and includes access to Friday's trade-only session. Tickets can be purchased in advance at
Tobacco Road Crawfish Boil
For a bar that closed months ago, Tobacco Road is sure active. The iconic 102-year-old spot lost its battle with time in October, with the old building torn down. But, like a phoenix rising from its ashes, the Road is set to reopen just a beer bottle's throw from the old location. In the meantime, you can't keep an old bar down — especially when there are crawdaddies to eat. Tobacco Road's annual crawfish boil will take place in the Road's parking lot on Sunday, April 19, from noon to 6 p.m. The no-cover event will feature seafood from River Seafood and Oyster Bar and Rosey Baby. In all, about 20,000 mud bugs will be consumed — along with beer and other goodies.  
Common Threads Culinary Bootcamp and Celebrity Brunch
Common Threads is hosting a series of cooking classes. These intimate classes, hosted by some of Miami's best chefs, will teach you how to do at least one thing right in the kitchen. Plus, proceeds benefit Common Threads. Classes are $45 each and are all held at FIU's North Miami campus. At 10:30 a.m. MC Kitchen's Dena Marino will teach you how to make hand-pulled mozzarella At 12:50 p.m., author, columnist, and radio host Linda Gassenheimer will conduct a demo of cooking diabetes-friendly meals. At 4:25 p.m., Sugarcane Raw Bar   and Grill's Timon Balloo will show you how to make Moroccan turkey meatballs. To register for classes, visit 

On Sunday, April 19, join celebrity chefs Michelle Bernstein, Fabio Viviani, John Besh, and Stephanie Izard at the Thompson Miami Beach Hotel for a star-studded brunch to benefit Common Threads. The brunch is $150 per person and runs from noon to 3 p.m.; VIP tickets are $250 and include brunch and a meet and greet with the chefs at 11 a.m. To purchase tickets, visit
Rum and Swine at Broken Shaker and 27 Restaurant
Finish up a long weekend at Broken Shaker and 27. On Sunday, April 19, from 2 to 7 p.m., enjoy a poolside barbecue with Don Q jerk chicken wings and pulled pork sandwiches with Don Q pineapple rum barbecue sauce. Free Don Q rum cocktails from 4 to 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., head upstairs at 27 for a Cochon 555 after-party with drinks and bites for $5.55 each.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss