With the Valencia room of the Spanish Court Hotel filled with the familiar faces of peers, 40 bartenders from several of Kingston's hottest nightspots gathered last Thursday for a bartending session on Patrón cocktails. Organised by Caribbean Producers of Jamaica (CPJ), local distributors of the premium Patrón liqueur, the late-morning session was a spirited affair that saw participation from the bartenders in attendance who represented such establishments as Macau, Fiction Lounge, Medusa, Strawberry Hill, From Thought to Finish, and Element 86. Trishauna Kirlew, brand manager of Patrón spirits at CPJ, told Thursday Food the primary goal of the session was "to get our bartenders empowered and excited, and that was definitely achieved".
Edward Blinn, Patrón spirits portfolio brand ambassador, who showcased the Patrón XO brand to the Hollywood set at last February's Academy Awards after-party and is a regular at film premiere parties in Los Angeles, was assigned the role of acquainting the bartenders with the story of Patrón. Blinn, a friend of the company's owner John Paul DeJoria, gave his attentive audience an informative oral history of Patrón - its beginnings, the distillery process of the tequila liqueur at its Mexico plant, and the impressive growth of the brand on the Rock, which has tripled its sales over a three-year period.
Also on hand for the session was Patrice McHugh, principal of the premium bar service company, Bars2Go. McHugh, a certified mixologist, provided cocktail lessons on incorporating the Silver Patrón, Patrón XO Café and Patrón Citrónge tequilas into drink mixes. A certificate of awards presentation culminated the session with the bartenders all graduates of a Patrón Master Class.
Thursday Food shares scenes from the CPJ-sponsored bartending session.