• Every year, Patrón invites bartenders from around the world to showcase their skills in pursuit of perfection. Last month, head instructor at the European Bartender School in Cape Town, Sabrina Traubner, was crowned South Africa’s ultimate cocktail Patrón Perfectionist.

    She will join 18 other global mixologist winners and the one Wild Card winner from the four corners of the globe at the final leg of the competition in March, taking place in Hacienda Patrón in Mexico, in the pursuit to be named the 2023 global Patrón Perfectionist.

    At the national finals, Sabrina’s winning serves, named “the Start of Day and Night” impressed the judging panel, and both received the Patrón not of perfection, setting her off to represent Mzansi at the international finale.

    Picture: Supplied

    “It still has not sunk in. I’m excited and equally nervous to be representing South Africa a the global finals. But, now that I have travelled this journey, I’d like to advise anyone who would like to enter this competition to be sure that they tick all the requirement boxes, and most importantly that they are prepared and ‘perfectly’ themselves,” says Sabrina.

    The 2022 national finals featured a series of challenges to test the broader skillset of participants. Hometown Hero, the entry challenge, tasked bartenders with developing a cocktail that blends Patrón Silver tequila with their local culture, using ingredients from a prescribed list.

    The series of challenges formed part of the Patrón Perfectionists competition’s expansion into a more holistic bartending programme to reflect the growth of the existing competition and Patrón Tequila’s long-standing commitment to inspire and nurture the on-trade community.

    The national final’s industry judges, who were tasked with judging the SA top six across two challenges, included Zuka Khuntsria, the head bartender at Roka; Casandra Eichoff, the director of the Cape Town European Bartender; and spirits and cocktail writer, Leah Van Deventer.

    The challenges, In-Bloom and Paloma 2.0, required the competing mixologists to showcase their mastery by creating their versions of the Patrón Margarita and Patrón Paloma.

    Brand Ambassador for Bacardi in South Africa, Cameron Hawkins, said “Sabrina’s performance was outstanding and stood out for authenticity, creativity, storytelling, and perfection of execution. We cannot wait to take her to Mexico in March for an immersive lifetime experience at Hacienda PATRÓN”.

    Sabrina’s winning cocktails were presented alongside:

    • Charne van Heerden of the House of Machines in Cape Town with her cocktails: Serenity and Beauty in Simplicity.
    • Jason Thomas of the Mexican Bay in Jeffrey’s Bay with his cocktails: Grand Daddy Fat and Reminiscence.
    • Brent Davids of Marble in Johannesburg with his cocktails: Sundance and Hiatus.
    • Sash Hale of City Lodge in Chartwell with his cocktails: The Letter and Dancing with Dandelions.
    • Richie Nahkala of Alchemy in Ballito with his cocktails: In-bloom for Richie and Swingset & Stilettos.

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    Feature image: Supplied

    Written by Tauhira Ajam for Cape {town} Etc.