Tony Huang from The Lui Bar in Melbourne and Pauric Kennedy from Barangaroo House in Sydney have been named as the two regional winners at the Victorian finals for Patron’s Perfectionists Cocktail Competition.
Six bartenders from Victoria and New South Wales competed in the final round held at Melbourne’s Mesa Verde.
Huang created a tepache and tequila combination cocktail named Yhi. Kennedy’s creation was dubbed Spring to Mind, which impressed judges with its sweet yet fresh finish.
“My inspiration came from working with your hands, just as Patrón is made by hand,” says Huang. “I’m very proud of this drink; it pushes the boundaries.”
Contestants were judged by Mamasita’s Nick Peters, Broadsheet editor Ellen Fraser and Patrón Tequila Australia’s Andres Valderrama.
Huang and Kennedy will now compete against four Australian finalists on 15 October in Sydney, with the hopes of moving to the next round against international contestants.
“It’s quite humbling winning the Victorian regional finals,” says Kennedy. “I was up against some pretty hard-core competition and their cocktails were next level.”