The 26-year-old bartender is set to represent the country at the program’s global finals in Mexico
A cocktail is more than just a drink you sip during parties. Much like art, crafting a remarkable drink requires creativity, discipline, and experience. Mixologists dedicate time and effort to mastering their craft, which is often unseen during parties and events in clubs and bars. This time, their passion for mixology is put in the spotlight thanks to Patrón Perfectionists.
A program led by international tequila brand Patrón, the initiative is on a mission to discover and develop bartenders from all over the world who create and share outstanding cocktails inspired by their hometowns and culture. In the Philippines, after a rigorous selection process, Patrón Perfectionists named its 2022 National Finals champion that is Kristina Tubig.
A mixologist at the Southbank Cafe + Lounge, Kristina bested nine other finalists with her signature cocktails made with Patrón tequila. Her triumph is one for the books as she is the first Filipina to bag the title.
“I think female mixologists are very curated and meticulous when it comes to making a drink,” Kristina told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “As for me, I don’t settle for just an okay drink. I always stick on doing much better and how can I do this more perfectly.”
Prior to winning, Kristina presented two drinks to the judges that pay homage to her Kapampagan heritage and her personal journey. Her first cocktail was inspired by Pampanga’s famous delicacy, the Tibok-tibok, a decadent pudding dessert made from carabao’s milk. What sealed her victory is her masterpiece, the Breaking Norms cocktail, which was made using a mix of classic techniques and molecular gastronomy approaches.
“The technique I used for the cocktail is reverse spherification,” she explained. “I have been practicing that for almost two years but I can’t do it. So, I tried perfecting it.”
The winning drink is a celebration of the refreshing taste of guava. Kristina crafted it by mixing guava pandan liqueur, simple syrup, and Patrón Silver. She finished it off by topping the drink with a guava cordial pod.
This wasn’t her first try in Patron Perfectionists. Last year, she was one of the competitors who, sadly, didn’t make the cut. Before she began her career as a bartender, Kristina was set to become a teacher. But her love for mixology, meeting new people, and her family’s support paved the way for her to be where she is now. With her passion and perseverance, much like her winning drink, Kristina aims to elevate the art of cocktails in the Philippines and break more barriers.
As this year’s champion, Kristina will be flying and competing in The Patrón hacienda in Jalisco, Mexico this coming February for the Patrón Perfectionists Global Finals. As for what she’s bringing to the table, we can expect her to concoct the finest cocktails celebrating local flavors and modern techniques.
“I want to show them cocktails that no one has ever done here in the Philippines,” Kristina said.
For more information about Academia Patrón Perfectionists and the Patrón Perfectionists program, visit www.academiapatron.com/patronperfectionists.