Milton Alatorre, regional director of marketing and commercial strategy for Asia Pacific with Patrón Spirits International, was recently in Bali launching three new Patrón cocktails using some of the brand’s superb innovative tequilas. At one of W Bali’s famous Intimate Sunset Cocktail events at the WooBar, Exquisite Taste spent an evening chatting to Milton, who coincidentally hails from Mexico, the home of tequila, about his role, his passion and his life.
E : Regional director of marketing and commercial strategy for Asia Pacific in Patrón Spirits International. It’s quite a cool title, so what is it you actually do?
A: In fact, it’s not only the title that’s cool actually it really is a very cool job. Part of the work I have to undertake is to educate the consumers about tequila categories. I do this by explaining what the spirit is, how it’s made, what it’s made from and what the differences are between a 100 percent agave and tequila mixto for example.
I’m also responsible for the marketing activities within the Asia Pacific (APAC) region too. So, as well as launching new products at events like this, I also look for new opportunities to develop the brand throughout APAC. I find new ways to connect with consumers and foster favourable relationships that will expose them to Patrón and the premium quality products we offer as a brand.
E : You worked for the Tequila Regulatory Council based in Shanghai, before that. What brought you to Asia?
A: I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the Mexican government to study a business program in China.
Part of that program was to explore and learn about the culture of doing business in China and also to learn the language so I could offer practical support and guidance to Mexican companies wanting to do business in China. So this is how I first came to Asia and, once here, I instantly fell in love with it.
E : What attracted you to the Patrón brand?
A: Patrón is the best company I could possibly join within the tequila industry.
It is the company that changed the image of tequila and positioned it as a lifestyle product and not just a rough spirit. Patrón became the standard for the ultra-premium tequila industry and is the company that leads in terms of trends, technologies, quality and innovative products. Patrón is more than just a brand; it is a reflection of every person who works within the company, a reflection of the commitment to ensuring that our exacting quality standards are maintained throughout production.
E : Established in 1989, Patrón crafted the world’s first ultra-premium tequila. What was the concept behind such a bold move?
A: In the US and many other markets, ultra-premium is a category distinction for brands priced at the top of their category. We didn’t come up with that, it’s an industry term.
However the concept behind the brand is based upon the founders’ belief that consumers were ready for ultra-premium luxury tequila, a spirits category which at the time didn’t exist. John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley loved tequila and their desire to create the best tequila in the world led them to the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. There they found tequila industry veteran Francisco Alcaraz and asked him to produce the most extraordinary, highest-quality 100 percent agave tequila possible.
E : What is ultra-premium tequila?
A: There are two categories of tequila: tequila and tequila 100 percent agave. The first is made with at least 51 percent sugar from the blue agave and no more than 49 percent different sugars, while premium tequila is made from 100 percent blue agave sugar selected from only the best blue agave.
Agaves are native to the arid and hot regions of Mexico, such as Jalisco, the home of tequila. People can really see the difference when they taste Patrón tequila or cocktails using it as a base. This is why we hold events like this, so consumers and those in the trade can get firsthand experience of our brand.
E : Within the growing range of ultra-premium Patrón offerings; do you have a favourite?
A: I really do have too many favourites to list! For others it’s really a matter of personal preference, whatever you enjoy. For example if you like the oakiness of aged spirits, then Patrón Reposado or Patrón Añejo, or perhaps one of our aged Gran Patrón tequilas may be to your liking. If you prefer clean and crisp spirits, without any oak, then I would suggest you try Patrón Silver or Gran Patrón Platinum tequila or if you enjoy coffee then our Patrón XO Cafe is a must have!
E : What do you think is the best aspect of your job?
A: The best aspect of my job is that I’m not just promoting an excellent brand like Patrón, but I’m also promoting an ultra-premium and handcrafted product that represents and reflects upon a whole country. Tequila; it is Mexico’s best ambassador.