PATRÓN®: We Asked Bartender Caer Maiko Ferguson  — What’s Your Mixology Style?

This article is part of a series highlighting the importance of authentic tequila, partnered by PATRÓN. Discover more at The World of PATRÓN.

Caer Maiko Ferguson began bartending about as soon as one can begin – just days after her 21st birthday. What started as a job to pay the bills while studying film and animation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, would evolve into a fruitful career. Today, Ferguson is the general manager and bartender at Austin’s award-winning cocktail bar and neighborhood restaurant DrinkWell. She’s won some awards herself, including Beverage Media’s Bartenders To Watch 2019, Austin’s 2019 Bartender of The Year at CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards, and more. 

Drawing on her Japanese heritage, Ferguson is the co-creator of Daijoubu Pop-Up, throwing pop-up cocktail events centered around Asian American identity all around the country. 

Here, Ferguson talks shop, spirits, and how her heritage shapes her mixology style. Read on to learn why Ferguson chooses Simply Perfect PATRÓN® Tequila and how to make her signature Lost Rain cocktail yourself. 

Caer Ferguson

When I came to Austin, I started bartending at Péché, a popular absinthe bar downtown. I learned a lot and had a really good crew of people. I tried a couple of cocktail competitions and won a few big ones, and I suddenly realized that there was this whole other creative world of bartending. It wasn’t just about making drinks; it was a mode of self-expression and something that other people were starting to pay attention to. There was a way to be successful in the way that chefs can be, and that hadn’t occurred to me before.

In terms of the creation of cocktails and our place within the world of bars, both DrinkWell and I do a good job of walking this line of really complex flavors presented in a very straightforward way. A lot of my drinks are two or three ingredients, but one of those ingredients may have six different parts to it. It’s like if you have a simple salad, but the dressing is really complex and elevates the whole experience.

For Daijoubu Pop-up, me and my business partner, who is Chinese American, use primarily Asian ingredients in our cocktails, and I’m really getting into incorporating unexpected ingredients and those with slightly savory notes. A couple of drops of garlic are very unexpected. It’s a subtle note but adds a lot of complexity.

I like the social and active parts of bartending. I was a video editor briefly after college, and sitting behind a desk all day just wasn’t the energy for me. I’m definitely a true extrovert in that I get all of my energy from the people around me, so working in an environment where I’m constantly interacting with other people is truly my happy place.

The most important thing to me is creating a space where we can give customers exactly what they want, but in our way — a space where everything is of high quality and super approachable, much like PATRÓN® itself. I think it’s the most impressive part of the atmosphere that we’ve built. Being able to be casual and warm, but special at the same time. It’s a balancing act, but I think we do it particularly well.

I like to create drinks where I take two very contrasting flavor notes and then try to fill in the gap between them. It’s less about the spirit and more about combining the flavors. Like sage and chocolate, for example. What is available that can bridge those flavor gaps to create a four- or five-ingredient cocktail?

Here, I created a Piña Colada riff. There’s this shrubb, a vinegar-based syrup, that works really well with the PATRÓN Reposado. I call it tigre shrubb. The cocktail was inspired by the juices that you find at the bottom of ceviche. It uses Champagne vinegar, passion fruit syrup, a few different kinds of citrus, some fresh bell pepper juice with a little bit of coconut cream, tequila, and crushed ice. So, it’s slightly vegetal, very tropical, very tart, and a little sweet. It’s very straightforward but that bell pepper and tequila combo are always delicious. And who doesn’t like complex Piña Colada variations?

Try Caer’s Lost Rain Cocktail



  1. Whip shake and pour into a tall glass.
  2. Fill with crushed ice.
  3. Garnish with mint and a slice of bell pepper.

*Tigre Shrubb Recipe


  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 8 ounces passion fruit syrup (I used Liber and Co.)
  • 2 ounces ginger syrup (I used Liber and Co.)
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 4 ounces Champagne vinegar


  1. Blend until smooth and fine strain.
  2. Keep refrigerated. Remains fresh for 1 week.

This article is sponsored by PATRÓN.