The PATRÓN Perfectionists journey began last September when bartenders from around the world were invited to join this global program and challenge themselves to become the complete bartender embodying excellence in hospitality and embracing Tequila culture. After several regional rounds of education modules and presentations at the respective national finals, fifteen global finalists earned their place to travel to Mexico to experience Hacienda PATRÓN in the Highlands of Jalisco and share their talents with their fellow participants and a top-notch panel of Judges and community contributors. After three riveting rounds of challenges in Jalisco, Mor Koral, founder of Salt & Spirit company in Tel Aviv, Israel, achieved the highest cumulative score and was crowned the 2023 PATRÓN Perfectionists global champion!
PATRÓN Perfectionists global champion Mor Koral with Tara Fougner, Thirsty Co-Founder & CEO
This year’s PATRÓN Perfectionists global final event in Mexico consisted of three challenges – Field to Flavor, The Stories We Share and Mi Mesa es Tu Mesa. Challenge #1, Field to Flavor, was set in the middle of agave fields in the Highlands of Jalisco testing the Bartenders to create a PATRÓN Reposado highball on the fly. Presented with a bountiful Mexican market stall featuring indigenous ingredients selected by chef Ana Martorell, the bartenders were given 45 minutes to create a cordial made of one of the market’s ingredients and use it to build the PATRÓN Reposado highball. Challenge #2, The Stories We Share, tasked participants with developing and presenting a PATRÓN cocktail recipe inspired by Mexico’s rich culture. The grand finale, Mi Mesa es Tu Mesa, saw bartenders design a hospitality experience that would delight the judges sat at a table with a memorable service of a neat PATRÓN Tequila serve paired with a non-alcoholic side cocktail creation. For each challenge, a winner was crowned, respectively: Choni Song (Wild Card winner, from China), Alex Boon (Australia), Max Macaulay (UK).
Challenge Winners L – R: Choni Song, Alex Boon, Max Macauley
Over the course of the six-day PATRÓN Perfectionists global final experience in Mexico, all of the bartenders displayed remarkable talent, dedication and passion and should all be extremely proud of how they represented their work and their home country. Ultimately, there can only be one champion and Mor Koral was unanimously praised by the panel of judges for her consistent execution across the challenges and for being the epitome of the perfect host, always owning the room with captivating charm, grace, spontaneity and confidence. As part of the global winner prize, she will now embark on a year packed with travel and experiences around the world as PATRÓN Perfectionists and Academia PATRÓN community contributor. The global champion, Mor Koral gained a consistently high scoring across all the challenges and impressed the stellar line-up of international hospitality professionals who joined as judges and mentors over the global final event – Ivy Mix, LP O’Brien, Tara Fougner, Sandrae Lawrence, Haba Flores, chef Ana Martorell, and previous PATRÓN Perfectionists global champions Giulia Cuccurullo and Harrison Kenney.
PATRÓN Perfectionists global champion Mor Koral during The Stories We Share challenge
Mor Koral commented: “For me the PATRÓN Perfectionists has been a journey that started in 2017, when I first took part in the program in Tel Aviv. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of making it to the global final at Hacienda PATRÓN, in Mexico. I am so incredibly excited to have been able to join this amazing group of people and celebrate my culture, rituals and ingredients alongside PATRÓN Tequila in its very home. Thank you everyone for embracing the stories and creations, I’ve shared with you, from my fellow bartenders to the judges and the PATRÓN team. I cannot wait to contribute to some inspiring projects with the PATRÓN Familia back home in Israel and around the world with the global bartending community!”
Lauren Mote, Global Director of On-Trade Excellence at PATRÓN Tequila and lead of the PATRÓN Perfectionists program, added: “We were amazed at how the global finalists embraced the challenges – interpreting familiar and new flavours, expressing their own personality, and bartending style, showing us different techniques and approaches to hospitality, and most importantly, blending their own heritage with Mexico’s and Tequila culture. The standards were consistently high across the week, and we are pleased to see how the evolved format of PATRÓN Perfectionists and Academia PATRÓN provided a platform and a stage for the bartenders to rise and shine!”
Words from The Judges & Mentors
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