Jeff Lyon, Third Rail, San Francisco 
Bartenders are just some of the creative tastemakers of the Cochon555 tour. As part of our new Spotlight series for guests past and present, we take you behind the scenes for a Q&A with those who provide the delicious drinks for our competition. Meet Jeff Lyon from our San Francisco event.
Which classic cocktail is the most underrated?
I think the classic daiquiri is totally underrated! In the 80s daiquiris were pretty much ruined by places that used sour mix, artificial flavors or mediocre fruit turning them into sugary slushies.  I don’t actually mind a blended daiquiri, as long as it has fresh lime juice and balance!
What kind of flavors inspire you the most?
I’m most inspired by bitter flavors. Most bartenders who work with a lot of different spirits and fresh ingredients end up craving a little “fight” in their cocktails, not unlike chefs using chicories to balance out sweetness or fattiness in a savory entree.  
A drink to pair with pork?
If I could chose any drink to go with pork, I’d usually go with wine or beer, depending on the cut and preparation. Carnitas: A simple, crisp lager! Rich, braised pork shoulder: A syrah-heavy Rhone. But if I had to pick a cocktail I’d go with something like a Oaxacan Old Fashioned–smoky, boozy, bitter & sweet.
Jeff will compete in the Punch Kings finale, Last Call, on September 30th. Don’t miss out on punches made by some of the country’s finest bartenders!