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A Toast to Tequila

The global tequila market will grow from $19.76 billion in 2022 to $30.06 billion in 2028, highlighting its rise as a popular and versatile spirit.


The demand for tequila is on the rise, giving the world of liquors a run for its money! In recent years, the global spirits market has witnessed a notable shift, with tequila consumption rising at a remarkable pace compared to other liquors. While traditional favourites like vodka, rum, and whisky continue to hold strong market positions, tequila has carved out a significant and growing niche for itself. This surge is not just a trend but a reflection of changing consumer preferences.

Transitioning from a traditional Mexican spirit to a global phenomenon, it’s capturing the intrigue and palates of consumers worldwide. Once primarily known for shots and margaritas, tequila is now celebrated for its complexity, versatility, and unique flavour profiles, making it a growing top choice among spirits enthusiasts.

In 2022, the global tequila market was valued at an impressive 19.76 billion U.S. dollars, and it's projected to soar to 30.06 billion dollars by 2028 (Statista). This notable growth reflects tequila's journey from a party staple to a premium and sophisticated choice among spirit enthusiasts. Here, we’ll dive into what’s shaping its evolution and taking it centre stage in the world of boozy beverages. 

The Rise of Premium Tequilas

The transformation of tequila's image began in the early 2000s with the rise of premium brands. These tequilas, often aged and meticulously crafted, contrast sharply with the harsher varieties once relegated to a party liquor. Made from 100% blue agave, the careful cultivation and processing of these plants enhance the flavour depth and variety. Premium tequilas stand out for their smooth, rich taste profiles, rooted in high-quality ingredients.

Shifting away from its image as a liquor primarily for shots and margaritas, tequila now has seen a rise in its connoisseur status - akin to that of rich Scotch whiskies, celebrated for its complexity and heritage. The allure of premium tequila stems from its blend of authentic ingredients, traditional methods, and Mexican cultural heritage. This evolution offers modern consumers a sophisticated and enriched drinking experience, merging the spirit's quality with its compelling backstory.

Artisanal and Small-Batch Productions

Further enriching tequila's landscape are the artisanal and small-batch producers who have emerged as storytellers of this spirit's legacy. These producers often employ traditional methods passed down through generations, such as using stone ovens for cooking the agave and natural fermentation processes. This attention to heritage and process has imbued their tequilas with unique, nuanced flavours that reflect the terroir and the maker's philosophy.

These small-scale productions have also been pivotal in showcasing the diversity within tequila categories - from the unaged 'blanco' that offers a pure expression of agave to the 'reposado' and 'añejo' varieties, which gain complexity from oak ageing. The aged varieties, in particular, have challenged and expanded consumer perceptions, drawing parallels with other esteemed aged spirits like whisky and cognac.

A Cultural Renaissance

The transformation of tequila is deeply entwined with a broader cultural renaissance. As interest in the stories behind food and drink grows, tequila makers are sharing more about their rich histories, production processes, and community involvement. This narrative, coupled with tequila's deep roots in Mexican culture, offers an authentic experience that resonates with consumers. 

Beyond the histories shared, the spirit's allure has been amplified by celebrity endorsements and high-profile brand launches, which have added a layer of glamour and significantly boosted its popularity. This combination of traditional heritage and modern visibility continues to reshape tequila's image in the global market.

Tasting Notes and Experiences

The exploration of tequila has become a sophisticated affair, akin to the appreciation of fine wines and whiskies. Connoisseurs and new enthusiasts alike delve into curated tasting experiences, where they discover the multifaceted nature of premium tequilas. These spirits unveil a spectrum of flavours: the earthy sweetness of cooked agave in a blanco, the smooth vanilla and rich caramel tones in a well-aged añejo, or the subtle interplay of spices and oak in a reposado. Each variant offers a unique taste profile, reflecting the ageing process and the terroir of the agave. Such tastings often include pairings with food that complement and enhance the distinct flavours of the tequila, further enriching the experience.

The cocktail scene has also played a significant role in tequila's rise. Bartenders and mixologists worldwide are experimenting with tequila, creating innovative drinks that showcase its versatility. From classic margaritas to creative new concoctions, tequila-based cocktails are becoming staples on menus everywhere, appealing to a broad range of tastes and occasions.

The Health-Conscious Choice

Tequila's popularity is also partly attributed to its perceived health benefits. As a spirit distilled from the blue agave plant, it is often viewed as a 'cleaner' alcohol choice. Many consumers, particularly millennials and health-conscious individuals, are opting for tequila over other spirits due to its lower calorie count and absence of sugars found in many other alcoholic beverages.

Tequila's ascent as a consumer favourite is a testament to its unique appeal and the changing preferences of modern drinkers. Its journey from a party staple to a premium spirit reflects a broader trend towards quality, authenticity, and mindful consumption in the alcoholic beverage industry. With its rich heritage, diverse flavour profile, and growing popularity in the cocktail culture, tequila is poised to continue its reign as a beloved spirit for years to come.