Tequila May Soon Become America’s Favorite Liquor

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

You know what they say — when life gives you lemons, grab some salt and tequila. This is especially the case now that tequila and mezcal were the second-fastest-growing spirits category in 2021.

Tequila is quickly trying to steal the title of America’s favorite liquor from vodka. Clearly, tequila has already stolen the hearts of millions of people that are more than willing to dish out the cash for a pricey bottle of the agave-based delicious alcohol.

According to CNBC, the Distilled Spirit Council of the U.S. has been actively looking over the sales of different spirits. It seems as though all the agave-based liquor has seen a sale increase of 30.1% to $5.2 billion. The only category of spirits that is growing in sales even more happens to be premixed cocktails.

It’s going to be hard to pass up vodka. The staple alcohol has been the top-selling spirit since the 1970s. It continues to sell about $7.3 billion, which is about $2 billion more than tequila. Give tequila a few more years and it may just be the bottle of choice. It is already selling about 26.8 million cases.

The third most popular spirit category goes to Irish whiskey. This spirit has seen a 16% change in revenue from 2020 to 2021.

What is Leading to This Increase in Tequila Popularity?

The increase in tequila supremacy has to do with more high-end options on the market. Similar to nice whiskey, rums, and cognacs, you can sit down and really enjoy this liquor straight up.

“The category’s appeal across demographics is significant. It has crossed over. The multicultural growth is very strong. It cuts across age segments, it cuts across gender, it cuts across dayparts, the occasion and the nature of drinks. It’s not just shots and margaritas as it used to be many years ago,” Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said to the news outlet. Diageo is the distiller that owns both Don Julio and Casamigos, two of the most popular tequilas on the market.

According to Statista, Jose Cuervo is leading as the most popular tequila brand in 2020, based on volume sales. It leads with about 4.68 million nine-liter cases sold. Patron has 2.73 million, 1800 has 1.5 million, Hornitos has 1.3 million, and Don Julio is at 1.14 million.

Not to mention, there are several tequila brands on the market that were created by famous celebrities. This is another factor that helps increase sales. Dwayne Johnson owns Teremana, Kendall Kenner owns 818 Blanco Tequila, and “Breaking Bad” co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston own Dos Hombres mezcal. They all seem to be chasing the success of Geroge Clooney’s Casamigos, which was sold for $1 billion to Diageo in 2017.