In 2018, the first Saturday in May happened to fall on May 5. That meant the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo were taking place on the same day. For thirsty consumers that day, Patrón Tequila knew that choosing a cocktail might be a bit difficult – should it be a refreshing Patrón Margarita to celebrate Cinco, or honor Derby tradition and enjoy a Mint Julep?
Strategy & Tactics
To own the Cinco de Derby occasion, Patrón approached the venerable Brown Hotel in Louisville – a city landmark since 1923 – to help create and promote a newsworthy cocktail that combined both the Margarita and the Julep – a very very high-end “Agave Julep.”
Working with the hotel’s top bartender, we crafted a drink recipe using the exclusive Patrón en Lalique: Serie 2 extra añejo tequila (retail priced at $7,500 a bottle), and Old Rip Van Winkle 25-year-old bourbon. This unique cocktail was priced at $1,500(!) and came in a keepsake custom gold-plated engraved julep cup (with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Kentucky Humane Society’s Equine C.A.R.E. program).
And though not everyone could enjoy one (or afford one) in person, we also promoted an easy-to-prepare version people could mix at home, using more moderately priced Patrón Añejo tequila and bourbon.
More than two dozen high-profile news segments and articles included the Patrón “Agave Julep,” totaling over 145 million impressions. The story appear in top outlets such as Forbes, Men’s Journal, and The Robb Report, it was also prominently featured in two segments on NBC’s “Today” Show (on May 4, and then live from Churchill Downs on May 5).
More importantly, the cocktail reinforced the versatility of Patrón Tequila (tequila in a Mint Julep?!), and generated great national attention for a very pleased hotel account in Louisville.