Eats and Drinks Feature Lifestyle

Sabrina Traubner wins PATRÓN perfectionist South Africa

December 16, 2022

Head instructor at the European Bartender School in Cape Town, Sabrina Traubner, has been crowned South Africa’s ultimate cocktail PATRÓN perfectionist. She will join 18 other global mixologist winners and the one Wild Card winner from the four corners of the globe at the final leg of the competition in March 2023, taking place in Hacienda PATRÓN in Mexico – in the pursuit of being named the 2023 global PATRÓN Perfectionist.

Sabrina’s winning serves, named ‘the Start of Day and Night’, impressed the judging panel. Both drinks received the PATRÓN nod of perfection, setting her off to represent Mzansi at the international finale. 

“It still has not sunk in. I’m excited and equally nervous to be representing South Africa at the global finals next year. But, now that I have travelled this journey, I’d like to advise anyone who would like to enter this competition next year to be sure that they tick all the requirement boxes, and most importantly that they are prepared and ‘perfectly’ themselves,” she said.

Sabrina Traubner mixing winning cocktails ‘The Start of Day and Night’

A cocktail of challenges

This year’s national finals featured a series of challenges to test the broader skillset of participants. Hometown Hero, the entry challenge tasked bartenders with developing a cocktail that blends PATRÓN Silver tequila with their local culture, using ingredients from a prescribed list. The series of challenges came as part of the PATRÓN Perfectionists competition’s expansion into a more holistic bartending programme to reflect the growth of the existing competition and PATRÓN tequila’s long-standing commitment to inspire and nurture the on-trade community.

The evening’s industry experts, who were tasked with judging the SA top six across two challenges, included: 

  • Head Bartender at Roka, Zuka Khuntsria
  • Director of the Cape Town European Bartender, Casandra Eichhoff 
  • Spirits and cocktail writer, Leah Van Deventer

The challenges, In-Bloom and Paloma 2.0 required the competing mixologists to showcase their mastery by creating their versions of the Patrón Margarita and PATRÓN Paloma

Cameron Hawkins, Sub-Saharan Africa Brand Ambassador for Bacardi in South Africa, said, “The calibre of creativity, knowledge of the brand and the liquid across the challenges were truly impressive. Congratulations to all the participants on their presentations. We are excited by the contribution these talented bartenders bring to the category.

Well done to all the top six finalists (L-R) Sasha Hale, Brent Davids, Richie Nahkala, Sabrina Traubner, Jason Thomas and Charne van Heerden. Image: Supplied

Sabrina’s performance was outstanding and stood out for authenticity, creativity, storytelling, and perfection of execution. We cannot wait to take her to Mexico in March for an immersive lifetime experience at Hacienda PATRÓN“.

Sabrina’s winning cocktail serves were presented alongside:

  • Jason Thomas of The Mexican Bay in Jeffrey’s Bay with his cocktails Grand Daddy Fat and Reminiscence.
  • Charne van Heerden of The House of Machines in Cape Town with her cocktails Serenity and Beauty is in Simplicity.
  • Sash Hale of City Lodge in Chartwell with his cocktails The Letter and Dancing with Dandelions
  • Brent Davids of Marble in Johannesburg with his cocktails Sundance and Hiatus.
  • Richie Nahkala of Alchemy in Ballito with his cocktails In-Bloom for Richie and Swingsets & Stilettos.

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