Patron Aficionados Tour: An Interview with USBG Member Evan McConnell

Patron Aficionados.PNG Patron Aficionados Tour

Patron and USBG are conducting a program called Patrón Aficionados. If selected, the award is a educational tour of Patron in Mexico. In June 2015 USBG member Evan McConnell did just that. He posted a great Facebook post as (shown below) we wanted to hear more.

Evan, what made you chose this particular program? I was really excited about Patrón's new partnership with the USBG, and the opportunities that came with it. I got to work with my local Patrón rep, Nathan Harrison, and Patrón bringing the Consejo Regulador del Tequila Certification to Kansas City meant a lot to our local bartender community.

Once you arrived at Hacienda Patron what was the itinerary? So much of our trip was more about the local culture, to help us understand how Patrón fits into the community, and why they choose to do things the way they do. We went sight-seeing in Tlaquepaque, home to amazing architecture and artists. Our group got to spend half a day at Patrón touring the facility and getting a really hands-on look at their process, followed by a killer lunch. We had awesome dinners in Guadalajara every night.

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How do you compare the production of tequila to other spirits? What are the similarities and what are the differences? Tequila is such an interesting mix between terroir and production method. Where the maguey was grown, how it was cooked and processed, and ultimately how it was distilled all affect the final product.

Can you tell us your impression of the Patron distillery?  Patron Distill.jpg

The scale is amazing. It's small scale production, mirrored six times. Respectfully, it's the least efficient thing I've ever seen in a distillery, but they do it because they're proud of their product and don't want to change anything about Patrón.

Patron involvement in its community is impressive. What was your take away on the local people, and how the distillery effected the communityOut of the entire tour, what impressed me most is Patrón's commitment to the local community and economy? From guaranteed value contracts with the maguey farmers, to employing locals from Atotonilco de Alto on their packaging line instead of automating it, and allowing other distillers to make use of their MASSIVE composting facility to reduce waste, they truly are committed to a better community.

 

Let’s talk a little about the tequila itself. Can you give us your overall impression of the different tequila’s Patron has to offer? I think Patrón offering such a varied line is great for the tequila industry overall. Because people shoot silver so much, the name is recognizable. It makes introducing a Reposado or Anejo a lot easier to them, because they trust the name. When you start getting into the Róca line, or the really excellent stuff like Burdeos and Piedra, they tend to not be as intimidated as they might be with craft spirits that aren't familiar to them.

 

When it comes to tequila, most people think of two things: shots and Margaritas. How versatile is this spirit? What do you recommend when it comes to mixing them tequila? I think stirred agave drinks have really been on the come up lately. The barrel character of reposados and anejos have led to some really fantastic riffs on classic drinks and opened a lot of eyes to the versatility of the spirit.

 

Can you share a favorite recipe using tequila?

Negroni Blanco (unabashadly riffed from Alex Day and Death & Co)

1 1/2 oz. Patrón Róca Blanco

3/4 oz. Suze Saveur d'Autrefois

3/4 oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth

Stirred, served over one large cube, garnished with a grapefruit twist

 

The FB post that got our attention:

Evan McConnell Post.PNG

Thank you Evan!

 

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