Patrón Perfectionists names five more championsBy Melita Kiely
The latest victors in the country heats of the Patrón Perfectionists competition have been announced, and their cocktails are brimming with ingenuity.
The Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition has seen heightened interest from bartenders worldwide in recent years. As the on-trade becomes ever-more enamoured with Tequila, and consumer interest increases, so too is cocktail creativity using the agave-based spirit.
“Following the big success story in the US on-premise, the category continues its fast expansion in Europe too,” commented a spokesperson for Patrón.
“Germany and Spain were the world’s second and third Tequila importing countries in 2020, with other European countries such as France, Latvia, the UK and Italy listed among the top 10, according to data from the Tequila Regulatory Council.”
Growth has been predominantly driven by “serve strategy”.
“CGA insights show that cocktails have been pivotal in shifting the perception around the category, showcasing its versatility through classics but also twists and signature creations,” the brand’s spokesperson added. “As a leading cocktail competition in the Tequila, as well as spirits, territory, the
Patrón Perfectionists has fuelled this movement, creating a global community of talented bartenders who are passionate about the finest quality Tequila and its mixing potential.”
The national finals of the 2021/2022 contest have concluded, with a wealth of on-trade talent confirmed to compete in the global final next year, which will take place at Hacienda Patrón in Mexico.
“The mixology scene is gaining more and more consumer appreciation in Europe,” Patrón’s spokesperson noted.
“Drinkers are now armed with interest and knowledge, shaping a variety of trends that have prompted the rise of new cocktail categories and occasions – apéritif- and food-led occasions and low-ABV cocktails, just to name a few. This year’s Patrón Perfectionists edition has been designed to connect bartenders with this cocktail-cultured audience. The incredible creations and stories of the global finalists are an inspiration for the trade and the consumer.”
To celebrate the competitors, each month we’re putting the spotlight on a selection of global finalists – and this month it’s the turn of those representing Benelux, Germany and Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal, and the UK.
Hailing from the Netherlands, Zana Möhlmann is flying the flag for Benelux in this year’s final. Möhlmann has been bartending since she was 18, and now works behind the stick at Amsterdam’s acclaimed Super Lyan.
Möhlmann named her White Noise cocktail for Patrón Perfectionists after the background frequencies of sounds. White Noise is said to reflect her personality and the essence of Patrón – tropical and quirky.
The cocktail features fresh banana to elevate the green notes of Patrón Silver, Sherry to convey a bright acidity and honey to add sweetness and floral notes. A dash of saline solution is also included in the recipe, and the cocktail is garnished with a fresh sage leaf. Möhlmann designed the drink to be pre-batched and effortlessly enjoyed wherever – like a white noise.
Germany and Austria
Franz Königsberger considers himself an avid gamer and a connoisseur of high-quality products. Currently bartending at Jack Rabbit bar in Austria, Königsberger began his on-trade journey five years ago, spurred on by a curiosity and love for spirits.
Königsberger’s Perfectionists cocktail – T-G-T – tells his story of the past year-and-a-half. After quitting his bartending job to pursue his desire of becoming creative with cocktails he delved further into wine in a family-owned vineyard in Germany.
The name of his drink, T-G-T, stands for ‘time, grapes and Tequila’. Time represents the period spent learning and creating during lockdown, while grapes are one of Königsberger’s greatest passions – and the base for nearly all the ingredients in his Perfectionists recipe.
T-G-T aims to showcase the craftsmanship and regional production of fine Tequila, much like fine wine, and represents togetherness.
The drink combines: Patrón Silver, Riesling dry wine, Martini Prosecco syrup, four to eight dashes of white wine vinegar, and a flower to garnish.
Luca Fanari triumphed in the Italy national finals with his drink Simply Green.
After attending hospitality school, Fanari started working in bars in Italy, before moving to the Netherlands for some valuable international experience – and it was here where he fell in love with mixology.
Once back in Rome, he attended the Jerry Thomas bartending school for two years to further hone his craft, before joining Baccano and then Freni e Frizioni, where he works today.
Fanari’s goal with Simply Green was to draw parallels between Italy and Mexico’s drinking cultures. Simply Green was inspired by the notion that less is more.
The low-ABV concoction enhances the flavours of Patrón Silver with raw ingredients: water, sugar, wine vinegar, lime, celery, tarragon leaves and coriander leaves.
Portugal and Spain
Wilson Pires kick-started his bartending career in 2012 when he joined Celebrity Cruises. Hailing from Faro in southern Portugal, Pires travelled the world working and learning with leading venues along the way, including Tales & Spirits in Amsterdam, Guilhotina in São Paulo, and Floreria Atlantico in Buenos Aires. He even launched his own canned-cocktail brand, Verso.
His Perfectionists cocktail, Paloma Negra, is named after a Chavela Vargas song that was inspired by Frida Kahlo. The four ingredients that feature in the recipe were picked to represent four paintings by the famous Mexican artist.
Each ingredient is said to bring to life the emotions expressed in each particular piece of art: Patrón Tequila for Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair; St Germain for Self Portrait with Monkey and Parrot; chilli liquor for Frida e Diego Rivera; and grapefruit cordial for The Broken Column.
The cocktail is presented with a paintbrush and edible colours, so the drinker can paint the glass and/or liquid themselves, and release their inner artist while they sip.
The winning cocktail from the UK was designed to be a contraption of connectivity, resourcefulness and community. Kat Stanley-Whyte, bar manager at Edinburgh’s Uno Mas, was the mastermind behind the concept.
Stanley-Whyte channelled 11 years’ experience in mixology and hospitality into her winning drink, Escape the Box. The drink aims to represent how consumers feel, as they’re transitioning to being able to be around family and friends, host weddings and escape to far-flung destinations for a few days. Escape the Box combines Patrón Reposado, Crème de Framboise, raspberry syrup, French Malbec (Le Coq Perdu, Pays d’Oc), saline solution, and fresh raspberries and demerara sugar to garnish.
The drink is presented in a bag-in-box system. It can be made in batches that last for up to three weeks after opening. Stanley-Whyte also upcycled the Patrón Bottle Packing boxes for her drink in keeping with the brand’s strides towards minimal waste.
The global final of the Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition will take place next year. Last month, we shone the spotlight on four other finalists.