When You Name A Tequila Drink After an NSYNC Song–Tahona Society 2017

I don’t normally give cheesy names to cocktails, but gosh is it fun. I learned to make drinks during a time when they were given sexy or mysterious names to seduce the guest into ordering them. We still do this, but back then I was highly discouraged by my mentors to pluck low-hanging fruit from the pun tree. I get it–bartenders hadn’t been taken seriously for decades and we were trying to establish that we were artisans and caretakers of a crucial American institution. We’ve chillaxed since then and are currently making rainbow colored drinks and guzzling sugary liqueurs. More on that later…

The Tahona Society is an event by Altos Tequila that’s been run almost every year since 2011. This was my first time hearing about it and I was stoked to whip up a tequila drink! Tahona Society 2017 is part competition and part educational seminar. Participants in 3 cities, NY, Austin, and LA, submitted cocktails for consideration. I’ll be writing another post about the event in LA from this past Monday. 

I wanted to make a drink inspired from the culture and/or food of Mexico, in particular, Jalisco. I initially thought of an horchata drink, but the tequila was easily lost in such a mixer. With that idea, I pivoted to creating an horchata syrup and took inspiration from incorporating prickly pear fruit(tunas) for added acidity & color. Bingo! 


Tearin’ Up My Heart

2 oz Olmeca Altos Reposado

.75 fresh lemon juice

.75 horchata syrup

.5 cane sugar syrup

.5 prickly pear puree

dash St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram



This delightfully pink cocktail sings a love song of highland tequila! Combining traditional ingredients of prickly pear & horchata makes for a perfect match. Olmeca Altos Reposado sets the stage for this blissful companionship with spice & vanilla throughout the drink’s velvety texture. 


Name Inspiration:

The name was inspired by the 2-ton volcanic Tahona stone that tears and crushes the highland agave before fermentation. And NSYNC.



Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake thoroughly. Double strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon peel. 


Ingredient Preparation:


Horchata Syrup:

125 g long grain white rice

½ large cinnamon stick

250 ml water

Cane sugar


Combine rice, cinnamon, & 125ml water in a container for at least 2 hrs-overnight. Blend mixture thoroughly with 125ml of water. Strain through cheesecloth or superbag. Weigh remaining liquid. Add equal parts cane sugar & stir to combine. If necessary, use an immersion blender to thoroughly incorporate sugar. 


Cane Sugar Syrup:

Prepare a 1:1 cane sugar syrup with equal parts cane sugar & water. 


Here were the rules from Altos:


Each recipe must use Olmeca Altos Blanco, Reposado or Anejo as the base spirit.

The maximum number of ingredients in the recipe is limited to 5 ingredients (including dashes and drops)

  1. Altos tequila base does not count as one of the 5 ingredients
  2. Garnish does not count as an ingredient.
  3. Any homemade ingredient that contains more than one ingredient will count as 1 ingredient (ie. Homemade syrups, shrubs, tonics)

The recipe can be served in any serving vessel.

Cocktail must have a unique name, chosen by the participant, which is inspired by the Tahona Society or Altos brand


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