Harrison Kenney of Sydney bar Cantina OK! triumphed in a field of 1,700 entrants and 15 finalists.
This year’s Patrón Perfectionists competition was notable for its digital format, which provided contestants with ‘a global online stage to further showcase their skills.’
Each participating nation selected the top 30 cocktail recipes from their country, with cocktail drinkers voting online to choose their favourites. After 30,000 online votes worldwide, 10 national finalists were selected. After the national finals (which were held virtually over Facebook in September), global finalists were flown to the Patrón Hacienda in Jalisco, Mexico, in the ‘long-standing tradition’ of the Perfectionist contest.
Here Kenney and fellow finalists created a cocktail recipe after spending time in ‘the most authentic tequila-making culture’. Finalists were limited to prescribed ingredients which allowed for the possibility of this cocktail being replicated in a real-world bar setting.
The cocktails were assessed by a panel of experts: including David Rodriguez, Patrón Master Distiller; Giulia Cuccurullo, Head Bartender at Artesian, London, and PATRÓN Perfectionists 2020 Global Winner; Adam Teeter, Co-Founder and CEO of VinePair; and Anny Barrera Head Bartender at Semillón, San José del Cabo, Mexico.
Commenting on the new competition template, Lauren Mote, Global Manager of Program Excellence for Patrón said: “This year, we elevated the competition to new, creative heights with a digital format that embraced changes to the drinks industry.
“We were delighted by the participants’ ability to communicate their personal stories alongside their stunning Patrón cocktails; this resonated with our global discerning cocktail lovers. Once again, the Patrón Perfectionists Program is a testament to how a cocktail competition is fun and helps develop each bartender’s skillset beyond the glass.”
Kenney’s cocktail, ‘Teal’, is a combination of Patrón Silver, Fino sherry, freshly pressed juices and vanilla-infused olive oil. See the full recipe here.
Kenney expressed his pride and delight at winning the contest.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling to be receiving this title among a crowd of such incredible bartenders and humans,” Kenney commented.
“I feel honoured to be here at Hacienda Patrón where I have had the chance to meet inspiring mentors and make lifelong friends.
“The Patrón Perfectionists has truly been the best journey and I cannot wait to extend it into the year to come by embracing new experiences and learnings with the Familia Patrón.”
Mote concluded by reflecting on the success of the competition as a whole, and of Kenney in particular.
“We are extremely proud of all the Patrón Perfectionists participants, and our warmest congratulations go to the global winner Harrison Kenney from Australia!”
“Harrison dazzled the crowd and judges with his incredible storytelling, comedic flair and delicious cocktails.”
Patrón Perfections Cocktail Competition launched in the UK back in 2015, before expanding worldwide in 2016. The competition gives bartenders a brief of creating a cocktail that is both at-once technically perfect, but also well suited to the customer experience.