Almost four months of competition culminated last night at the final of the first ever Patrón Perfectionists cocktail competition, which saw not one but two bartenders winning a trip to Mexico.
Dean Shury of Chiltern Firehouse was declared winner for his Providence cocktail (pictured right), a simple and light drink he aimed to serve as an aperitif. It used Patrón Silver, Dolin dry vermouth, a homemade herbes de provence and olive soda, and was garnished with an olive on a sprig of lavender and some lemon oil.
'I feel really overwhelmed,' Shury told Imbibe. 'I'm blown away. I didn't think I was in there – I really liked Sophie [Bratt] and Robyn [Wilkie]'s drinks. I'm really, really grateful.'
The runner-up was Robyn Wilkie from Mash in London (pictured top, left), for her Hacienda, made using Patrón Silver, lemon juice, thyme and fennel syrup and kümmel. It was topped with an apple crisp.
While the winning prize of a trip to Patrón's Hacienda in Jalisco, Mexico, was supposed to go to the main winner only, Patrón decided to take both Shury and Wilkie along as the points difference between the two was so close.
Sophie Bratt, from the Oxo Tower in London (pictured top, right), came third with her Lovebuzz, also made using Patrón Silver with strawberry-infused Cocchi Americano Rosa vermouth, yuzu liqueur and Monin rose syrup.
Patrón Spirits International's marketing director EMEA Matthew Sykes said: 'This is an exciting opportunity for us to put our ultra premium tequila in the hands of bartenders across the nation, engaging and including members of the trade. The Perfectionist competition allows those who respect and understand tequila as a rapidly growing category, to experiment and learn about the versatile spirit – and win a trip to the Hacienda of course!'
As part of the competition's partnership with Imbibe, all 10 finalists will be featured in our January/February issue – check it out for more on the competition and the finalists' drinks.