Patrón Tequila is without a doubt one of the most notable tequila brands in the spirit industry. But not so long ago, that wasn’t the case. Many aren’t familiar with the brand’s journey from self-funded startup to industry giant (which started simply with two friends and a hankering for some good Mexican tequila), but Señor Bear’s lead bartender Keegan Labrador is—and it got him thinking.
“It seems that in every industry, young, fresh companies are changing the way the world operates,” he explains. “A few decades ago, Patrón was a company like that. Now they are leaders in the industry, part of a billion-dollar portfolio, and have one of the most modern, sustainable, and community-impacting distilleries in Mexico.”
And that’s no exaggeration. Patrón boasts a responsible sourcing and distilling process that gives back directly to the surrounding community of Jalisco. State-of-the-art water treatment systems, natural gas energy sourcing, and funding to research and promote the sustainability of the blue Weber agave plant are just a few of the ways Patrón keeps social responsibility at its core. (You can learn more here.)
So when Labrador was recently developing the recipe for a new cocktail he intended to call Toppling Giants (“It’s a name I’ve had in my back pocket for a minute,” he says), the pieces fell into place.
Reflecting on Patrón’s background, Labrador says, “Patrón Reposado was a perfect fit. Patrón Tequila is quite literally toppling giants.” But on top of that, he adds, “I also knew an agave spirit would blend well with the other flavors I was chasing.”
The rest of the cocktail is a complementary swirl of bright, floral, spring-inspired flavors. A splash of Aperol adds fruity, bitter notes to balance out the smooth, oaky overtones from the agave, while hints of aloe and cucumber come from the Chareau.
“I knew the agave spirit should be smooth so as to not dominate the other delicate flavors, so most mezcals were out. From there, I knew I wanted a tequila that had clean agave notes and a little oak aging for backbone,” Labrador continues. “The Patrón Reposado is smooth and refined but with clean cooked agave and subtle vanilla notes.”
The overall combination brings warm weather and blue skies to mind. Toppling Giants was created in honor of February’s National Margarita Day, but the reviews are in, and it’s here to stay—on Señor Bear’s spring menu, at least.
“Every February, I find myself wishing for winter to be over and for spring and summer to arrive,” Labrador says. “This cocktail is really a celebration of all the great flavors and vibes that come with that season.”
- Restaurant: Señor Bear, 3301 Tejon St., Denver
- Bartender: Keegan Labrador
- Cocktail: Toppling Giants
- Brand: Patrón Reposado
- Pour Cost: 18%
- Price: $16
- 1 1/2 ounces Patrón Reposado
- 1/4 ounce Aperol
- 1/8 ounce Chareau
- 1/2 ounce guava agave syrup (1:1 guava purée and organic agave syrup)
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaking tin. Dry shake and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a bitters design.
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