By Lory Diaz
The Canadian finals of the 2017 Patron Perfectionists Competition were held November 14, 2017 at Toronto’s beautiful Broadview Hotel, located at 106 Broadview Avenue and Torontonicity was invited to attend. The rooftop bar hosted the four finalists from across Canada, who each created a cocktail inspired by Canadian flavours, Patron tequila, and its home: Mexico!
The four Canadian finalists were Maximilien Jean from Montreal, Martin Corriveau from Vancouver, Makina Labrecque from Calgary, and Toronto’s own Chris Anderson from Lavelle. Each competitor had to present a cocktail that used Patron tequila as its base, but beyond that they were only limited by their imagination. The final results were uniquely delicious in their own way:
Maximilien Jean introduced us to the Calle San Lorenzo, which is a cheeky play on Saint Laurent Boulevard in Montreal and the importance it plays in the cultural identity of the city. Jean combined Patron Silver, ice wine, and verjus (more acidic juice from green grapes), then added a beer-like foam topper by mixing the ice wine and verjus with xanthan gum. The results were a cocktail disguised as a beer, but with beautifully full flavours.
Martin Corriveau presented the San Miguel Arcangel, a cocktail inspired by the warmer flavours of Mexico, featuring a red capsicum (think red pepper) infused Patron Silver. He balanced the flavours out with agave syrup, and lemon juice, which softened the edges of the tequila and spice. This definitely felt like the type of drink you would want to sip pool-side in the summer, or enjoy in the winter to warm you up. It was absolutely delicious!
Makina Labrecque went with strong flavours and presented the 60 Hands cocktail, which she described as a tribute to all the people that play a part in creating the signature Patron tequila. This cocktail is now featured at Proof YYC, the bar that Labrecque manages in Calgary: Patron Silver, Benedictine, pernod (fennel and black licorice flavours), and bitters. The drink is booze-forward, but in a delightfully welcoming way: sweet, aromatic, and deliciously smooth going down.
Chris Anderson focused on the Patron honey bee logo, and named his cocktail The Queen of Atotonilco. Everything from the full flower, torched cinnamon stick garnish, to the bee pollen rim had a distinctly Toronto style to it, because we do love our presentation here! The cocktail’s main flavour profile contained Patron Silver, celery, anise, cinnamon and fennel. Think refreshingly green as the first note, and then warm comforting cinnamon at the end. Beautiful and delicious!
Small hors d’oeuvres were brought around throughout the night, but the watermelon bites drizzled with white wine vinaigrette and a dot of crème fraiche were my favourite. They were slightly tangy, but refreshingly sweet!
The mini Thai lettuce wraps with beef were also a standout for me! The beef was moist and juicy without being overly saucy, which allowed you to enjoy them without worrying about a mess.
The three designated judges ranked each competitor, but guests were also allowed to vote, meaning that a crowd favourite and a finalist were announced that night. For crowd favourite, our own Chris Anderson won! He had many guests mesmerized with his cocktail crafting and presentation skills, so congratulations to him!
The finalist who is on their way to represent Canada in the world Patron Perfectionists Finals at the Hacienda Patron in Jalisco, Mexico is… Makina Labrecque! Her 60 Hands cocktail really spoke to how community-oriented Patron is, as they focus on supporting local farmers, growers, and labourers in Mexico. Their bottles are even made from recycled glass, demonstrating an environmental conscientiousness for which more companies should strive. Torontonicity wishes Makina Labrecque all the best, as we know she’ll represent Canada well in the finals!