Winning cocktail: It Takes A Valley
2oz Patrón Silver
0.5oz B.C. Apple-infused Benedictine*
0.25oz 1:1 Simple Syrup
1oz B.C. Organic White Verjus
0.75oz B.C. Super Dry Apple Cider
Grapefruit Peel Garnish
Apple Benedictine: Cut and slice 2 fresh B.C. Apples and put in a jar with 500ml Benedictine. Infuse for up to a week, then fine strain. 2 fresh mango skins, 400g sugar, 30g non-iodized salt, 1.5l water. Place all ingredients into a bottle and put a balloon over the top with a tiny hole in it. Leave at Darwin room temperature for 6 days (26-28 degrees). Fine strain and store in fridge for a further 14 days for a second ferment.
Method: Combine Patrón Tequila, verjus, infused Benedictine, and simple syrup in shaker. In the other side of the tin, add 5-6 good cubes of ice. Combine tins and shake hard for 10 seconds. Double strain with the Hawthorne and mesh strainers into a chilled coupe. Add the Dry Cider to top. Cut off a thin slice of grapefruit peel, express on to the top of the drink. Trim the garnish slightly, adorn upon the top of the coupe's rim, and serve.
Inspiration: We've all heard the phrase: "it takes a village". And it does. It takes a community to raise one another, support one another, and grow together. For Patrón, it takes the communities of farmers growing the Weber Blue Agave, and the workers at the Hacienda to make the spirit we all know and love. For me as a bartender, the people in this industry acted as my community. They offered support, education, and guidance through my career and personal life.
My cocktail for Patrón Perfectionists 2019, "It Takes a Valley", is a tribute to the tremendous sense of community felt by myself in this industry, a tribute to the beautiful Okanagan Valley that I live in, and a tribute to the incredible communities of people that make Patron possible. My selection of ingredients also aims to reflect that: many components of my cocktail come from the Okanagan Valley, which is one of the major agricultural regions in Canada. The apple-Benedictine uses B.C. apples from the valley, and lends a honeyed apple sweetness to the apple and pumpkin flavours in the Patrón Silver. The Verjus substitutes any sort of a citrus ingredient, providing the acidity for the drink while also being more environmentally sustainable. Finally, the Dry Apple Cider provides crisp apple notes and a delicate effervescence, while the simple syrup adds balance, and the grapefruit peel provides a bright citrus fruit nose.
It takes more than a village for this drink to come together; it takes a valley in Canada and valleys in Mexico to produce the components that this drink is made from. And I think that marriage of two regions is simply perfect.