Patrón Perfectionists 2021-22

The pursuit of perfection is something practiced by "perfectionists" so is an apt name for a competition designed to find and celebrate the best cocktail and its bartender creator. Since its inception, Patrón Perfectionists has grown in stature to be one of the foremost bartending competitions. Now, in 2021 simplicity is the key to perfection as the competition seeks easy-to-replicate cocktails.

The best and most enduring cocktails from past decades are the simplest with just three or four ingredients harmoniously combined to create a libation better than the sum of its parts. These are the cocktails served in bars around the world and increasingly also by amateur bartenders in their homes for friends and family. For those thinking this is a little like a Legacy cocktail, it's perhaps worth mentioning that Patrón Perfectionists is the only global competition being held by Bacardi-Martini this year.

With so much of the world either still in lockdown or under the threat of returning to it, the first round of Patrón Perfectionists is about cocktails that can be replicated in any bar or home bar, anywhere in the world. It's worth remembering, the judges may also end up sampling cocktails entered after following the recipe in their own kitchen.

Permitted ingredients

Hence, the first round of Patrón Perfectionists 2021 has a limited and stipulated list of easily attainable ingredients so that the cocktail recipes entered can be made and tried by all. I was invited to draw up this by my friends at Patrón and I sought only ingredients that are commonplace in bars all around the world and that are accessible by home cocktail enthusiasts. Patrón Silver, Reposado and Añejo obviously feature and naturally also other widely available Bacardi brands.

This is a broad list of permitted ingredients but is still limiting by design. However, it is massive compared to the many "ingredients tables" or "mystery boxes" I have come across in numerous rounds of other cocktail competitions. This limitation is part of the challenge of this year's Patrón Perfectionists and it also serves to place all competitors on a more even platform. Owning a Rotavap is not an advantage – at least in this round (see below).

Voting by your peers and your guests

This year, for the first time, the general discerning drinking public and fellow bartenders alike will all have the opportunity to vote via PatronPerfectionists.com (which incidentally was built by our own clever team of developers). Voters will be able to influence the cocktails and their respective bartenders that will go through to compete in the final, to be held at Hacienda de Patrón in January 2022 (subject to any Covid restrictions).

Stages and rounds

1. Bartenders in participating markets (see below) are invited to submit their entries to PatronPerfectionists.com from 23rd April to noon GMT 31st May 2021.

2. A professional panel of judges in each market around the world will select the best 50 entries from their market to present to the international judging panel.

3. The international judging panel will narrow the 50 entries from each market down to up to the top 30 cocktails from each market (420 cocktails altogether).

4. Professional bartenders and the discerning drinking public alike will be invited to view all 420 semi-final cocktail recipes on PatronPerfectionists.com, make them for themselves, and then vote for their favourites.

5. The votes cast on PatronPerfectionists.com will decide 3 of the finalists with up to 7 more selected by the professional panel of judges in each market.

6. The (up to 10) finalists in each market will have up to 8 minutes to present their cocktail to a panel of judges who will decide the bartender from each market that will go onto the final in Mexico.

7. In the final at Hacienda de Patrón the finalists will be invited to '
elevate their recipes with no restriction (within reason) as to what ingredients they can use. Some may decide that "simple is beautiful" and so stick with their original entry. The comparison between the simple and elevated versions of the same cocktail will be one of the things that sets this Patrón Perfectionists competition apart.

Participating markets

Bartenders in the following countries are invited to enter:

  • Australia
  • Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Germany & Austria
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • Portugal & Spain
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • USA


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