Altos Tequila has unveiled the next phase of its celebrated educational tequila programme, The Tahona Society Collective Spirit, a contest that challenges bartenders to come up with a new sustainable initiative, event or project.
A new approach to cocktail competitions, the evolution of The Tahona Society Collective Spirit is in response to growing consumer appetite for cleaner, greener bar practices and leading bartenders’ visions to give back to the bar community.
In support of Altos Tequila’s core values of family, integrity and authenticity and its ongoing care for the land, environment and community, mixologists from 22 countries have the opportunity to submit a project under one of five Collective Spirit categories:
• Bartender welfare: improving the working life and health of hospitality employees
• Social engagement: improving lives in the local community around their bar
• Upcycling and recycling: getting creative to avoid anything being thrown away
• Waste reduction: trying to reduce consumption of energy and precious resources
• Sustaining the environment: protecting animals and cultivating crops sustainably
Local training is taking place across the 22 countries, including the UK, USA and Mexico, in the form of two-day educational events, designed to inspire bartenders about the quality and provenance of tequila and the importance of sustainability in bartending.
After the immersion, contestants have one month to hone their creations and submit them online at www.tahonasociety.com.
In September, The Tahona Society Collective Spirit jury, made up of leading global tequila experts, will select the ten most innovative entrants whose concepts best represent the goals of the five Collective Spirit categories to join Altos Tequila in Mexico, in November.
Finalists will be treated to a week of specialised tequila training as well as hands-on workshops alongside business, marketing and start-up experts who will advise them on how to prepare the perfect pitch for the judges in the global finale.
The global winner will receive a $50,000 (over £37,000) grant from Altos Tequila and continued mentoring from The Tahona Society in order to bring their concept to life.
Additionally, the winner will be welcomed as the newest The Tahona Society global ambassador and will be given the opportunity to host tequila educational programmes for fellow bartenders around the world in the coming year.
Moreover, the first ever Henry Besant Scholarship, named after the late Altos Tequila co-founder will be awarded to a rising bartender to fund a technical course for their career advancement.
The Tahona Society co-founder and spokesperson Dré Masso said: “In conversations with brand ambassadors and bartenders, a single issue kept coming up.
“While cocktail competitions are fun, we identified that the community wanted to leverage The Tahona Society’s incredible talents and energies to a higher end. Our $50,000 commitment will allow great ideas to become an on-the-ground reality.
“The Tahona Society Collective Spirit celebrates more outward-looking, locally focused efforts that reflects bartenders’ larger concerns to ‘give back’ to their colleagues, communities and industry as they further evolve the society’s commitment to human and environmental sustainability.”
Bartenders from around the world can register their interest on the Tahona Society Facebook page or The Tahona Society Collective Spirit Competition website.