Greg Almeida from Scarfes Bar in London has been announced as UK winner of a search for the most perfectionist bartenders with Patrón tequila.
Greg, who is head bartender at the bar at the Rosewood London hotel, impressed judges with his cocktail, An Endless Journey, combining Patrón Reposado with flavours of vanilla, jasmine and nutmeg.
He was among hundreds of bartenders from across the UK who entered this year’s Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition which challenges them to create a drink with the same passion, precision and care that goes into each bottle of ultra-premium Patrón Tequila.
Greg will be treated to a trip to the Hacienda Patrón in the Highlands of Jalisco in Mexico, where he will represent the UK against 17 other countries at the global semi-finals on January 17. If he is successful, he will go on to the global final the next day.
He said: “I’m overwhelmed and can’t quite believe that I have won. The Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition means so much to me as the competition and the Patrón brand represent everything I believe in and what I think we, as an industry, can do.
“My cocktail is all about the journey of life and what you make of it. When you meet people, you become inspired and it’s what you do with those inspirations that can change your life.
“I wanted my cocktail to inspire my guests and for them to make it a part of their journey. Patrón Tequila is full of innovation but always has a traditional way of thinking, and to me, that is inspirational.”
The UK final was held at TT Liquor in east London in front of a panel including last year’s global winner, Mike McGinty from The Voyage of Buck in Edinburgh, alongside David Alan, Patrón’s manager of trade education and mixology, and Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide.
Lee Applbaum, chief marketing officer at Patrón Spirits International, said: “We are proud to see the competition return on this scale, bringing new up-and-coming talent to the bar with fresh ideas on what it takes to be a Patrón Perfectionist.
“The bartender community is a global community, brought together by a common pursuit for pure excellence in crafting drinks and delivering an experience for their guests.
“This year, as ever, the bar is raised and we are excited to discover mixologists who experiment with the flavour profiles and versatility of Patrón Tequila and who understand and share our values.”
An Endless Journey by Greg Almeida
35ml Patrón Reposado tequila
10ml Mole extract
2 dashes of Vanilla bitters
60ml Jasmine and almond horchata
Top with grated nutmeg
Place all ingredients except the nutmeg into a mixing glass and mixing by throwing, or the “Cuban Roll”. Pour into a chilled wooden cup with no ice. Top with grated nutmeg.