Photo Credit: Patrick Lawson - Supplied

Patrick Rowson has officially made the best margarita, and it’s based on the homegrown favourite Chakalaka.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (23 February 2024) – The 22nd of February is Margarita Day and at a hotel in Dubai, a competition was hosted to find the best margarita and its maker. Competition was fierce, but a proudly South African bartender took the top prize with his Chakalaka-inspired drink.

Meet Patrick “Pat” Rowson, the creator of the world’s best margarita – the “Chakalakita”.

Originally from Northern Johannesburg, Pat has travelled the world and settled at the international restaurant and bar called COYA in Dubai. Here he has worked in prime locations in the UAE and Greece, serving delicious drinks to international travellers. He is today, the senior bartender and has a passion for making good drinks.

His inspiration for the Chakalakita was based on the homegrown favourite Chakalaka.


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On his win, the competition judges shared that they were thrilled with his margarita submission.

“We are thrilled to announce our UAE Winner of the 2024 Cointreau Margarita Challenge – congratulations to Patrick Rowson from COYA Dubai!

His winning cocktail the ‘Chakalakita’ – a twist on the classic Margarita, made with ingredients inspired by ‘Chakalaka’, a dish originating in Johannesburg, South Africa where Patrick is from, wowed the judges through an incredibly balanced profile on the palette & Patrick’s sensorial presentation.” – Cointreau

Speaking to Patrick about Chakalakita

We got to chat with Pat about his win and he called it an honour. He is excited for what comes next, where he will go on to represent South Africa and the UAE at the global finals. Pat will take the Chakalakita to the global stage.

“It really feels like hard work has paid off and such an honour to have won this competition. Especially being competing against other great mixologists in Dubai. I feel extremely happy and humbled.”

He spent around a month working to perfect the drink.

“I worked on the drink for about a month, trying to balance the ingredients and achieve the right flavor profile I wanted. As well as playing around with different glassware, ice and garnishes to find the right fit for the profile of the cocktail”

As for advice for hopeful mixologists?

“The best advice I could give would be to never stop learning and soak up as much knowledge as you can from others around you. Keep an open mind and experiment with new ideas regularly!”

With his new-found fame in the drinks world, Pat hopes to head home for a few guest spots at some of SA most trendy bars – he says “Keep your eyes peeled”!

Congrats on the win Pat! You have made South Africa truly proud.

Sources: GTG Interview / Instagram (Linked Above)
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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