Patrón’s cocktail contest is back featuring a new education program, after Australian Harrison Kenney took out the top prize in 2022.

A statement from the brand explained the changes to the competition, reading: “As the cocktail competition has significantly broadened its reach and distinction in the bar world, Patrón tequila has extended its long-standing commitment to inspire and support bartenders in growing their skillset with the launch of Academia Patrón Perfectionists Education Program.”

The brand said that it expects 19 countries and cruise liners to take part in the 2023 competition, while additional nations will participate in training modules and education workshops.

Although 2023 has seen some changes to the competition, the core challenge remains the same: to produce an original cocktail recipe that reflects both their home region, and quality of the base Patrón spirit.

“The entry challenge, called Hometown Hero, will require entrants to develop a cocktail that blends Patrón Silver tequila with the bartender’s local culture, using ingredients from a prescribed list, the Pantry,” a statement read.

“The initial entry submissions will be judged on appeal, appearance, inspiration, and originality.”

Lauren Mote, Global Manager of Program Excellence for Patrón Tequila, said anticipation was high for the next edition of the competition.

“We are incredibly excited for the upcoming 2023 Patrón Perfectionists program. Over the years, this program has brought an invaluable contribution to the category thanks to the advocacy of bartenders creating and sharing outstanding Patrón recipes around the globe.”

Mote also highlighted the new education element to the contest, saying: “The evolution of the Patrón Perfectionists competition brand to a bartending program, with dedicated education, goes hand in hand with the rise of the bar scene globally.”

“It has become evident to all our teams that education should become the central pillar of our program, with investment into the growth and professional development of bartenders everywhere.

“The bartenders who enter the Perfectionists have a common thirst for knowledge, growth, and connections. With this enhanced format and the invaluable support of local teams and Brand Ambassadors, we are going to support them throughout their journey as they strive for their personal vision of “perfection” and of their Patrón tequila serves and rituals,” Mote continued.

Between 1 September and 7 October, Patrón is hosting Perfectionist state roadshows, with Patrón Tequila Execution Manager Joey Chisolm, Brand Ambassador Alex Godfrey, and last year’s winner, Harrison Kenney.

These roadshows will educate attendees on ‘flavours, ingredients, techniques and topical trends’ in the tequila category, to help support bartenders’ entry into the competition.

After the initial stages of Patrón Perfectionists, each participating nation will judge the cocktail entries, to produce a shortlist of up to ten bartenders, who will then compete in the national final in November. After a series of challenges, the bartender with the highest cumulative score will be deemed the national winner, and will go onto the global final at Hacienda Patrón, Mexico in March 2023.

This year, a global judge will also select a special wild card entrant from those contesting the national finals.

Harrison Kenney in action

Kenney also commented on the return of the competition, saying: “It was a privilege to win the prestigious Global Patrón Perfectionists title for a cocktail that I created, to represent Australia, a country that has one of the greatest bar scenes in the world.”

“I can’t wait to see the calibre of entries for this year and how the talented bartenders of Australia showcase their hero ingredients.

“Bartenders – if you are thinking about taking part, do it,” Kenney concluded.

Bartenders can enter the competition here, with entry closing at 10:59 AEDT on 7 October 2022.
National finalists will be announced by mid-October.

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