When you’re passionate about tequila, celebrating the spirit and studying it go hand in hand. That’s why Olmeca Altos founders Henry Besant and Dré Masso created the Tahona Society with master distiller Jesus Hernandez in 2010. Knowing more about the ancient art and culture of tequila gives bartenders a deeper love and respect for the spirit they can pass on to guests.
Tales of the Cocktail asked me to find out more about the Tahona Society and tequila education for bartenders.
“Nine out of 10 bartenders deny drinking cocktails—they only make them,” and with these words from moderator Claire Smith from Belvedere Vodka began a cheeky 90 minute debate about whether or not cocktails were worth drinking.
Of course this seminar was at an event that has been celebrating cocktails for 10 years, and I’ve written a book about cocktails in addition to being a fan of them … so I wasn’t expecting this debate to end with me (or the audience, for that matter) landing on the “hate” side of the fence. However, there has been a definite movement away from the pretension and complications of “Mixology” and a longing for simple, approachable drinking experiences. Also, every bartender at Tales of the Cocktail seemed to revel in “beer and a shot” experiences when you caught them away from the actual events. So I expected some good points along with some good fun. And the seminar didn’t disappoint.