Patrón Perfectionists Top 15 announced.
“A woman’s place is…” – a phrase that has sparked many debates over centuries. Women have, since the beginning of time, been stereotyped into roles and responsibilities which have been steadily unravelled over various industries that have been identified as male appropriate industries over the years, but the last decade has challenged status quos and showcased the multifaceted talents of women.
The dawn of a new era
One such industry is the liquor industry. In 2018 Forbes took a closer look at the trend of fierce women claiming their positions in the formerly male dominated industry. The article sheds more light- “From master distillers, brand ambassadors and owners to those at the forefront of marketing, innovation and every role in between, these women haven’t let stereotypical industry “norms” hold them back. Today they are leaders in their respective fields, shaking up the world of liquor, all while proving gender is irrelevant when it comes to crafting the perfect libation.” Competitions like The Patrón Perfectionist were designed to showcase bartending talents from across the globe, to elevate sophisticated creativity flair and highest quality cocktails.
2018’s Patrón Perfectionists competition finalists saw Cassandra Eichhoff waving the flag high as the only female finalist in the highly rivaled Top 6. In years before that, the competition had 56 entrants with only a mere 14% of them being female entrants. In 2019, and aptly in Women’s Month, the number dramatically surged with 9 of the top 15 being women entrants- an unprecedented feature for the annual competition.
Building the Legacy
“There’s a definite increase within the industry globally and locally. We are seeing the same with across both our bartender competitions namely Bacardi Legacy and Patrón Perfectionists – which is a great reminder that females are equally if not better and it is something I am extremely excited to support and uplift within the bartender community,” expresses Nick Koumbarakis, Brand Ambassador for Bacardi in Southern Africa.
He continues, “Within our Bacardi family, shift can be seen throughout as well, some of my colleagues globally who I respect and look up to are women such as the UK Ambassador for Bacardi Rums, Matinee Kongsrivilai, Georgina Bell, “the Global Malts Ambassador for Bacardi LTD, Roberta Mariani our MARTINI Global Brand Ambassador, as well as Varia Dellalian who serves as Portfolio Ambassador for LEVANT.”
Meet the women that are breaking barriers in the liquor industry
- Cameron-Leigh Henning of Marble, Johannesburg
- Taneale Van Der Merwe – The Little Fox, Johannesburg
- Lungiswa Nduna – The Little Fox, Johannesburg
- Kim Munro – Sin & Tax, Johannesburg
- Shaz Dorfling – Lucky Shaker, Durban
- Gugulethu Ncube – Mix Bar, Johannesburg
- Sabrina Traubner – The Athletic Club & Social, Cape Town
- Ella Gedye – Cause & Effect, Cape Town
- Burdett Geiling – Gorgeous George, Cape Town
- Cassandra Eichhoff – European Bartender School, Cape Town
- Charne Van Heerdan – The House of Machines, Cape Town
- Katlego Manyathi – The House of Machines, Cape Town
- Nkuli Khanyile – Molecular Bars, Johannesburg
- Joaquina Benitez, Cape Town
- Paula Larong – European Bartender School, Cape Town
- Mia Laubsher – Slo-Jo, Johannesburg
- Ricki Leigh Edwards – The Gin Bar, Cape Town
The Patrón Perfectionists final is scheduled to take place in Cape Town in early October. If the trend is anything to go by, we can expect to see more women owning spaces and representing the new era. Lending from a popular phrase trending in online spaces, “The future is female”.