When you visit the fabled Hacienda Patrón in Jalisco, Mexico, you quickly understand why the company chose “Perfectionists” for the name of its competition. With each meticulous step in its process of distilling tequila, perfection is Patrón’s goal – from the hand-chopped agave, the insistence on sticking to a time-honored tradition of slowly extracting juices with two-ton tahona wheels hewn from volcanic rock and a commitment to being environmentally friendly, to the iconic bottles carefully molded out of recycled glass, the beautiful arches, corridors, and sense of high-end hospitality visitors experience at the Hacienda. The Patrón Perfectionists competition was created to bring the world’s top mixologists together to share in a celebration of this tradition of artisanal tequila making at its finest, along with international camaraderie, and expressing art in the form of elevated tequila cocktails.
The USBG is proud to send three of its members to represent the United States in the Patrón Perfectionists Global Finals; Lance Bowman of Chicago, T.J. Vong of Denver, and Peter Hannah of Orlando. These three discerning and creative bartenders rose to the top in each of their respective regional competitions this fall after the top 24 applications were selected amongst hundreds of applicants for the chance to compete at a U.S. regional semi-final. The Patrón Perfectionists program, originally introduced in the United Kingdom in 2016, currently in its inaugural year in the U.S. and with the USBG, is known as one of the premier competitions of its kind.
David Alan of Patrón refers to the caliber of competition this program has come to expect as a very elevated approach in which each element and excruciating detail – from garnish to presentation – all factor in. At the three regional finals in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and Chicago this fall, finalists were ranked by a panel of judges on a series of criteria including appearance, originality, service/hosting, and flavor. The three U.S. competitions were among 20 total around the globe. The Perfectionists hail from Germany, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Italy, France, Spain, South Africa, Dubai, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, China, Canada, Brazil, two from Mexico, and three from the United States.
When the 20 Perfectionists arrive in Mexico, they will experience a cultural immersion and hands-on learning about the art of artisanal tequila making, and they will showcase their own tequila creations. They’ll also have the opportunity to forge friendships with fellow mixologists from other countries. Competing on an international stage will add a new level of complexity and make the competition more intense, yet it will also provide a chance for the finalists to learn and stretch themselves to try new techniques and flavors inspired by worldwide cultures and their fellow Perfectionists. This competition is as much about celebrating tradition and seeking perfection through attention to detail, greater understanding, and camaraderie as it is about striving to win.
“It’s all about trying to learn as much as I can at every opportunity,” said Lance. “Every bartender has something to share that can help make us better bartenders and deliver better experiences. I also can’t wait to see what different flavors bartenders from around the world use and their story behind why they chose to use them.”
The global finals will take place January 23 and 24, 2019. To learn more about the program, please visit patronperfectionists.com.