recipes & how tos | sep. 9, 2021

GET TO KNOW THE 2021 U.S. Patrón Perfectionists FINALISTS — Part 3

As the national Patrón Perfectionists finals edge ever-closer, we wanted to take a moment to learn a little bit more about the top ten finalists competing for their spot in the global finals. For some, this is their first time participating in Patrón Perfectionists, while others are gunning for the top spot once more. In this special feature we’ll learn what it took to get this far, where inspiration lies, and delve into the hopeful sense of competition the entrants carry with them as all eyes turn to Mexico.

Jamie Clark // Fuzzy Feeling

Get to Know 2021 Finalist Jamie Clark:


Have you competed in Patrón Perfectionists before? If so, what was that experience like?
I have never competed in Patrón Perfectionists.


What drew you to this competition?

I was drawn to this competition because it’s recognized worldwide. I also enjoy and respect Patrón as a brand.


How are you thinking of hospitality in a digital space?

I have found difficulty in being myself on camera whilst conveying information. I am thankful for the virtual stage of the competition because I have learned things about myself that I hope to improve on. Something I really took from the virtual part of this competition is that hospitality in a digital space relies on extensive preparation, I don’t think you can really wing it” on camera without losing a bit of credibility.


What will it mean for you to go to Mexico for the Global Finals?

It would mean the world to me to go to the global finals. It would be so rewarding to present my cocktail fuzzy feeling” which is an embodiment of how I feel when I am creating cocktails. It would be a life changing experience to see the hacienda and meet some of the hands” that go into making Patron.


Where did the name of your cocktail come from?

In the name Fuzzy Feeling”, fuzzy” serves two purposes. It refers to the exterior of the kiwi fruit, and when put together with feeling” it hints to the saying warm fuzzy feeling”.


What was the inspiration for your cocktail?

My cocktail was inspired by the process of creating and the feeling it gives me. Researching ingredients, going over flavor profiles, carefully adding different elements to create unique and wonderful tasting cocktails really brings me joy.


What does perfection mean to you?

Perfection means mastery. No details are left unnoticed and execution is flawless.



FUZZY FEELING” RECIPE

2oz Patrón Silver
1 12 oz pressed kiwi juice
1oz Sauvignon Blanc syrup*
12 oz fresh lime juice
2 dash black lemon bitters (Scrappy’s)




METHOD


Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously until chilled, double strain over 5 in specialty ice (if available) in a highball glass (~12oz glass)
Garnish with half of a cut kiwi.

Prep:

*Pressed kiwi juice: peel 4 ripe kiwis, use a juicer to extract juice, strain and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

* Sauvignon Blanc syrup:

1 pink grapefruit
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 btl New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc (inexpensive, I used Matua)
3 cups granulated white sugar

In a sauce pan, heat 1 bottle of NZ style Sauvignon Blanc on medium-low with the peels of 1 grapefruit, the hand squeezed juice of that grapefruit (discard the rest) , and 1 sliced green bell pepper for 15 min. Next increase the heat to medium and add 3 cups of sugar, stir and bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat, allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool, once it is cool strain and refrigerate.

Garnish:

Make small “ v” cuts along the middle of a kiwi fruit, once you’ve completed a circle gently pull the halves a part.

Rest kiwi half on top of cocktail.

Fabio Steven Gonzalez // LA ULTIMA CITA

Get to Know 2021 Finalist Fabio Steven Gonzalez:


Have you competed in Patrón Perfectionists before? If so, what was that experience like?
No, I have not.

What drew you to this competition?

I used to believe Patrón Tequila was a mass produced tequila with no soul behind the brand. But that notion changed when I visited the Patrón Hacienda and learned how much the company cares about the community and environment. It was enlightening and inspiring, I knew I had to be part of their cocktail competition at some point and why not do it during the last year I will be competing? Speaking of which, this year I have made a decision that it will be the last year I am entering into cocktail competitions, once I learned that my wife is pregnant and I will be becoming a father. In connection with this decision, it was only logical for me to handpick a few of the very important and meaningful competitions, that not only carry a big weight and influence in the bartender community but also resonate with me personally, and Patrón Perfectionist was one of them.

How are you thinking of hospitality in a digital space?

I think when it comes to demonstrating hospitality in a digital world the main thing to remember is what are the most important and valued aspects of the hospitality are. Because of the pandemic the hospitality and service industry took a big hit and a lot of the business had to move to the digital world, including competitions such as Patrón Perfectionists. And while one of the main aspects of the hospitality still remains to be providing service, there is another even more important aspect and it is the engagement with your guests. Simply put, a lot of the time your guest may not even remember how great that cocktail was or how delicious their meal was, but what they will remember is how you made them feel. This is something that I make sure to carry through in my digital presence: I let my personality shine through and make sure to keep my viewers (guests) engaged.

What will it mean for you to go to Mexico for the Global Finals?

It will mean that all the effort, dedication, and commitment invested in trying to improve what I love doing has finally paid off. For me, it is not about the prize or the title but the fact that I would feel I have made it. It will set an example for my daughter that dreams do come true, and at the end of the day, it is important to go big or go home, and I sure hope I am going big by going to Mexico.


Where did the name of your cocktail come from?
My mother’s cooking/​baking was not the only aspect I used as my inspiration. The name of the cocktail La Ultima Cita,” is a combination of one of my mom’s favorite song La Cita” by a Colombian Singer by the name Galy Galeano, and the decision I have made regarding cocktail competitions. With the birth of my first child, coming up in July, my time for these sort of competitions will be very limited so I have decided this will be my Ultima” or Final” (in English) year competing, comprising the second part of the cocktail’s name, and making it whole.

What was the inspiration for your cocktail?

My mother is not much of a cook but the few things she cooked for us when we were kids, were tasty. One of her biggest hits was a passion fruit mousse dessert, which consisted of condensed milk, passion fruit juice, and Ducales crackers. I like to use different aspects of my growing up in Colombia as inspiration for my cocktails, and this time around was no exception. The aforementioned dessert brings back sweet memories of our family seating together in a warm afternoon while waiting for the dessert to set in the fridge, times that will forever be engraved in my heart.

What does perfection mean to you?

Perfection is a way of life for me. Ever since I can remember, I have always sweated the small things because those are the ones that people notice the most, and it is what helped me stand out from everyone else. I sweat every single detail that makes part of my life, from the way my clothes are folded to the way I create my drinks and how every single ingredient serves a purpose. Striving for perfection means that I am always trying to give 100% to everything I do, and sometimes it is harder than others but it is always rewarding.




LA ULTIMA CITA” RECIPE

1 12 oz Butter Fat Washed Patrón Silver
34 oz Amontillado Sherry (preferably Lustau Escuadrilla)
1 oz Condensed Milk
12 oz Lime Juice (freshly squeezed)
12 oz Passion Fruit Puree (preferably unsweetened Boiron puree)
Salt (to rim the glass — preferably Maldon salt)
Nutmeg (grated on top)
2 oz Clarified Butter (to fat wash Tequila — preferably unsalted Land O Lakes butter)




METHOD




Jigger all ingredients into a shaker except nutmeg and salt.

Add Kold Draft ice to the shaker and shake until the desired dilution has been reached (close to 8 seconds).

Rim a double old-fashioned glass with Maldon salt and place a big cube in it.

Double strain liquid into prepared glass, and finish it with grated nutmeg on top.

To clarify butter:

Place one stick of butter in a heat-resistant glass container, and place it inside a pot or pan with water. Turn the heat to medium and wait until the butter has melted, and the milk solids and water have separated from the fat. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Skim off foam. Slowly pour out clear yellow liquid through a fine strainer, leaving behind the residue of milk solids and water. Clarifying the butter would prevent the Tequila from becoming cloudy during the fat washing process.

To butter fat wash Patrón Silver Tequila:

Add 6oz of Patrón Silver Tequila and 2oz of clarified butter in a ziplock bag. Close the bag and shake for 30 seconds. Let the mixture settle for two hours in room temperature. Once the settling time has passed, place the ziplock containing the Tequila/​butter mixture in the freezer overnight. Remove the bag from the freezer and strain through a coffee filter or a very fine strainer into a sealable container. Keep the butter fat washed Patrón Silver Tequila in the fridge until needed.

Jason Holmes // Traversing Meridians

Get to Know 2021 Finalist Jason Holmes:


Have you competed in Patrón Perfectionists before? If so, what was that experience like?
No, while I have competed in other cocktail competitions previously, this is my first time competing in the Patrón Perfectionists competition. I am ecstatic to have made the US Top 10, but don’t plan on resting on my laurels. I aim to give my all, demonstrate my passion for the craft, highlight a unique and delicious combination of flavors and showcase perfection in my presentation.

What drew you to this competition?

There were a few items that drew me to the Patrón Perfectionists competition. First, was the concept of searching for perfection in regards to a cocktail – a noble and worthwhile pursuit, that has meaning in recipe development, execution and final presentation. I also appreciated the idea of incorporating a story into the creation of the cocktail. All of the best cocktails tell stories, and invite others to hear and participate in them, bringing people together. Lastly, working with a limited set of permitted ingredients was also appealing. It places all competitors on a level playing field and highlights the expression of creativity within given boundaries.

How are you thinking of hospitality in a digital space?

Hospitality in a digital space is my bread and butter. What once began as a hobby, quickly evolved into a passion and business endeavor when COVID drastically changed the landscape of imbibing and gathering. Consumers are more open to influence advertising through social media and other digital platforms, providing opportunities for brand partnerships and content creation. There has also been an increased openness to serving drinks at home with friends and for small events, which has created a greater need for home drink design and a private event space in relation to cocktail culture. On a personal note, I relish the challenge of conveying a cocktail (meant to be tasted, consumed and even shared) in a digital space, where one relies on visuals, verbal description and a story, alone.

What will it mean for you to go to Mexico for the Global Finals?

As I mentioned, the COVID pandemic has served as a springboard for me, providing me with more time and a creative outlet to transform my cocktail hobby into a passion and business endeavor. Competing in the Global Finals in Mexico would be a final, incredible step in that journey. It would provide me with the encouragement and exposure to pursue additional business pursuits– be it brand partnerships, content creation for marketing campaigns, menu development opportunities, or expanding the private event services I offer. It would truly mean the world to me.

Where did the name of your cocktail come from?

The name Traversing Meridians’ comes from the notion of acting upon a longing to travel and see the world again, particularly as it begins to emerge from the COVID pandemic. It evokes notions of traveling to foreign lands, exploring untraveled destinations, and creating new memories with old friends.

What was the inspiration for your cocktail?
Traversing Meridians is inspired by a cosmopolitan conglomeration of locations and their respective spirits, cultures and flavors, but specifically highlights the delectable and subtle nuances of Patrón Silver Tequila. The drink weaves the essence of the Caribbean, India, Japan and Mexico, and evokes sensations of the exotic and a yearning to explore.

What does perfection mean to you?

To me, perfection represents something without blemish, a concept which cannot be successfully improved upon – the ideal and the goal. Some might even argue that perfection cannot be achieved. Though, I’d wager that does not imply it shouldn’t be strived for or sought after. In pursuing perfection, a craft can be further refined and made closer to perfection in the process – better improving the finished product.




TRAVERSING MERIDIANSRECIPE

2 oz Patrón Silver Tequila
1 oz Sake (Nigori style)
12 oz Mango juice
12 oz Lime juice
12 oz Simple sugar syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) Hot Pepper sauce
4 oz Coconut Water (frozen; served as ice cubes)
1 Grapefruit peel (utilize for hand-carved tiger garnish)



METHOD


Place coconut water in ice cube mold in freezer. Allow to freeze until solid, ~24 hours.

Combine Patrón Tequila, sake, mango juice, lime juice, simple sugar syrup and hot pepper sauce in a cocktail shaker over traditional ice. Shake to dilute/​chill, ~12 seconds.

Fine-strain and serve over coconut water ice cubes in a chilled Old-Fashioned glass.

Garnish with hand-carved grapefruit peel tiger’. Serve.

Roberto Núñez Moreno // Atoto

Get to Know 2021 Finalist Roberto Núñez Moreno:


Have you competed in Patrón Perfectionists before? If so, what was that experience like?
I have not competed before in Patrón Perfectionists. This is my first time and I’m very excited to be here. It is a dream come true.

What drew you to this competition?

The first time I heard about Patrón Perfectionists was from José Antonio Rodríguez. He gave an interview at Bartender at Large, a podcast I’ve been following for years, and he mentioned Patrón Perfectionists. My love for tequila, my passion for cocktails, and my desire to meet the best bartenders in the world, learn from them and prove my own skills is what drew me to compete.

How are you thinking of hospitality in a digital space?

Hospitality’s mission is to provide the best experience to every guest. To achieve that goal, we should utilize the best tools possible. Our world is becoming more digitized every day, and it is important for our industry to keep pace. In a digital world, the distances are shorter, the speed faster, the reach larger and the cost cheaper. We are here for passion, but also for business. Using the right tools in the digital space offers us the opportunity to give better service, generate more revenue and cut costs.

What will it mean for you to go to Mexico for the Global Finals?

The Global Finals would mean the world to me. It would feel like playing the World Cup in my hometown, or the World Series in my home stadium. It would be like a warrior that leaves home for years of training and comes back as a champion. It is especially important to me because not only do I represent the US, one of the most influential countries in the bar scene, but I also represent my Mexican origin, sharing the birthplace with tequila. It also means to me that I must be at the highest level of perfection” because I am representing two amazing countries. It means the opportunity to show my love for tequila and how passionate I am to bring its value around the world. It means that years of work and study are rewarded for the single fact that I am in the final. Being a Global Finalist means that I will have the honor to compete with the best of the best, the most perfect perfectionists” in the world. It means that I will be in reach of the Nobel Prize of our industry. It will mean that I am a Patrón Perfectionist.

Where did the name of your cocktail come from?

Atoto” is how the locals of Atotonilco El Alto like to refer to their town. Atotonilco is the birthplace of Patrón, and since Tequila Patrón and I share the same origins, I wanted to portray that in the name of my cocktail. Additionally, I did not want international guests to be intimidated by the pronunciation of Atotonilco El Alto” when ordering at the bar, thus I used the local name Atoto.”

What does perfection mean to you?

Perfection means to me the best way to do something and the best possible state of being. 

Perfection means to me the standard of living and acting. 

Perfection means to me that if I work, I’ll do it in the best way. That if I have to rest, I’ll do it in the best way. That if I make a cocktail or just pour a soda, I’ll do it in the best way. That everything I do has to be done in the best way possible.

Perfection means to me that I must be the best version of myself; that I have to be a good person, take care of myself, be healthy, be educated, be respectful, be professional, be nice, be smart…

Perfection is a holistic way of living for me. I don’t believe you can call yourself perfect until you achieve perfection in every single facet. I can’t be called a perfect bartender if my drinks are perfect, but my service or work ethic is not.

Perfection is my everyday goal, something I am constantly trying to achieve in everything I do. I believe this way of life makes me a Perfectionist, because even though I am not perfect, I am always pursuing perfection.




ATOTORECIPE

Patrón Reposado Tequila (1.5 oz)
Licor 43 (3/4 oz)
Watermelon Fresh (Smash and strained Juice) (1.5 oz)
Lime Fresh (Juice) (3/4 oz)
Orange (Fresh Fruit)
Mint leaves
Honey (1/4 oz)
Egg white



METHOD


Muddle the watermelon, the mint, the orange with the honey and strain the juice into a shaker.

Add the Patrón Reposado, the Licor 43, the lime juice, the egg white and give it a dry shake.

Add ice and shake again.

Double strain into a coupe glass.

Garnish with a mint leaf.

Make sure you tag along for the rest of the Perfectionists’ journey by following us on Instagram @academia_patron and cheering on these talented bartenders during the live viewing of the National Finals in October. Exact time to come, so stay tuned!