This article is part of a series highlighting the importance of authentic tequila, partnered by PATRÓN. Discover more at The World of PATRÓN.
What constitutes the perfect drink? What qualities comprise the perfect bartender?
PATRÓN® has posed that question to cocktail professionals around the world vying for a chance to win the 2023 PATRÓN Perfectionists program. The annual bartending program and competition invites bartenders to participate in the new Academia PATRÓN Perfectionists program and showcase their skills across a range of activities, all in their own personal pursuit of perfection in the drinks industry. The program culminates in a global final competition and celebration at Hacienda PATRÓN, the brand’s renowned distillery & brand home in Jalisco, Mexico, in March 2023. The US Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) runs the competition in the U.S., which is sponsored by PATRÓN – USBG PERFECTIONISTS SPONSORED BY PATRÓN.
“This is about becoming the complete bartender,” says PATRÓN Global Director of On Trade Excellence, Lauren Mote. “It’s not just about the drink; it’s about hospitality, your teammates, [and] great ingredients.”
This past September, the program evolved to include a dedicated education program called Academia PATRÓN Perfectionists, which offers three virtual sessions and workshops hosted by leading professionals from the food and beverage industry, as well as additional educational opportunities hosted in select markets. Bartenders who enter the PATRÓN Perfectionists program will have access to these sessions — focusing on flavors, trends, and techniques — designed to offer inspiration, support, and professional growth as they prepare for the competition.
Of course, at the core of the PATRÓN Perfectionists program is the pursuit of a series of remarkable cocktails made with the core range of simply perfect PATRÓN Tequila (Silver, Reposado & Anejo). The 2023 entry challenge, called Hometown Hero, asked entrants to create a cocktail that embodies each bartender’s local culture. Using PATRÓN Silver with a prescribed list of ingredients (dubbed “The PATRÓN Pantry”), bartenders meticulously develop a drink that tastes of home — and tastes delicious. The initial entry submissions were judged across a range of categories including originality, inspiration, appeal, and appearance.
While PATRÓN has become synonymous with Mexico (all of its 100 percent naturally perfect tequila is distilled in Jalisco), the PATRÓN Perfectionists competition is a global affair. Nineteen countries are taking part in the 2023 program — USBG PERFECTIONISTS SPONSORED BY PATRÓN in the U.S. — has offered virtual and in-real-life (IRL) educational sessions to bartenders across the country, and extends beyond the U.S. to 17 additional countries globally to participate.
From the Hometown Hero entries, USBG in the U.S., and an independent group of judges in each country outside of the U.S., selects a shortlist of up to 10 bartenders. Further narrowing the pool is serious business, with skilled bartenders competing against one another in a variety of topics and challenges, and national finals will take place throughout November and December 2022. The bartenders’ cumulative scores across the national final challenges will determine the national winner in each market. For the first time ever, the PATRÓN Perfectionist program has also expanded finalists to include a special Wild Card Entry selected by a global judge, securing one additional spot at the global final event. Come March, all national winners plus the Wild Card winner will attend the finals at Hacienda PATRÓN, undertaking a new series of challenges designed to test all facets of a bartender’s skillset.
Earlier this year, PATRÓN crowned its 2022 PATRÓN Perfectionists winner, Australia-based bartender Harrison Kenney. His cocktail, Teal, paired PATRÓN Silver with surprising ingredients including celery juice, kiwi, and drops of vanilla-infused extra virgin olive oil for a vivid and verdant cocktail. The concoction is smooth and enjoyable yet complex. In a couple of words, it’s simply perfect.
A tireless dedication to perfection is nothing new for PATRÓN, with the brand’s time-honored and painstaking production process that delivers only the highest-quality, 100 percent natural tequila for individuals to enjoy. This badge of perfection for PATRÓN is held with pride and industry-known, as PATRÓN sits as the world’s No. 1 super-premium tequila*. As such, the PATRÓN Perfectionists program requires entrants to have an unwavering commitment to quality — the same quality that goes into every drop of PATRÓN before it leaves the Hacienda.
This article is sponsored by PATRÓN®.
*Source: IWSR 2021 Global Database