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A ‘perfectionist’ is someone “who strives for perfection” and bartenders demonstrating their attainment of this over a given period in front of judges and an audience of their peers is the raison d’être of a bartending competition – particularly when the Perfectionists have flown from around the world to compete against each other in a global final.

Perfection is said to be subjective, so each of us tasked with judging both rounds of the Patrón Perfectionists Global Final will have had their own measures of perfect bartending. Can any performance be perfect in every regard? Perhaps not, but as I watched each of the 17 competitors take their turn behind the Copper Bar at Hacienda Patrón there could be no doubt that all were striving for perfection and that some are as near to achieving their goal as is humanly possible.

Patrón Perfectionists puts a lot of pressure on its competitors, and come to that judges, but for those who make it through to the final rounds of this very special bartending competition (it’s not a cocktail competition – there is so much more to this than just a drink) it is not all pressure and hard work – we all enjoyed a very special week in Mexico. We made new friends, enjoyed new experiences and improved our tequila knowledge while staying in a luxurious setting – actually at Hacienda Patrón – the distillery where all Patrón tequila is made.

Originally launched in the UK and now in its third year, Patrón Perfectionists has become a global event with the 2017 competition, launched in May 2017, seeing over 1,200 bartenders from 19 countries compete in 32 qualifying heats.

The finals were held in the unique setting of the Haciena Patrón distillery in the Highlands of Jalisco with the 17 semi-finalists competing on 17th January and six Perfectionists emerging to compete in the Global Final on the following day. They were (in running order):

David Robinson - Hot Tamale, Darwin Waterfront, Australia
Omer Gazit - Tel Aviv, Israel
Li Tong - Lotus Lounge in Guangzhou, China
Tim Devriendt - The Cobbler Bar, Gent, Belgium
Jay Lee - Charles H. Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Seoul, South Korea
Greg Almeida, Scarfes Bar, Rosewood Hotel, London, England

Read about The Winner, Li Tong

View videos from each national final and the winning drinks.