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We analyze your tasting reviews to determine your unique detailed taste profile, and then we compare you to the crowdsourced taste profiles of bottles from the community. Our algorithms calculate how much you and the bottles in our shop match, making shopping for a bottle you are bound to love a breeze! As you do more tastings in the app and your tastes evolve, so will your match scores! Check back often as your tastes evolve.


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Tequila and Mezcal Boom: Premium Products and Spicy Cocktails Take Center Stage

Mar 27, 2024 •  6 min read

Image courtesy of Pernod Ricard

Move over, boys, tequila’s got a whole new set of fans these days – and they’re all about quality. While country music might sing about tequila’s ability to mend a broken heart, the latest trend is all about discerning palates seeking out the perfect agave experience.

This premiumization trend is taking the tequila and mezcal world by storm, according to industry insiders.

“It’s natural progression,” explains Stephan Gavula III, founder of Florida-based Costa Tequila. Consumers are learning the ropes, he says, and are now becoming more confident in their ability to spot a high-quality product. This has led them to explore pricier options, but the good news is, they’re also getting savvier about what makes a good tequila or mezcal.

This newfound knowledge empowers them to “trade down” within the premium and ultra-premium categories, choosing what best suits their taste buds without overpaying.

Jim Green, chief operations officer at Dos Hombres in Encino, California, agrees. He credits this trend with a rise in both mezcal and tequila sales. People are drinking less but better, he says, seeking out those “healthier alternatives” that often come with a higher price tag. Dos Hombres itself focuses on educating consumers about the agave spirit, ensuring they understand the process and appreciate the quality reflected in the price point.

More than just a buzz: A celebration of heritage and mixology

The rise of the tequila and mezcal connoisseur isn’t just about fancy bottles. This growing appreciation for these agave spirits is fueled by a love for Mexican culture and heritage.

“Tequila drinkers are coming from all walks of life,” says Gavula. As they explore the spirit’s varieties, they’re moving beyond the classic margarita (sorry, Miranda Lambert) and discovering the unique flavor profiles that agave has to offer. This is leading to a wave of creativity in the cocktail world, with bartenders incorporating geographical and cultural elements into their tequila and mezcal concoctions.

Dos Hombres’ Green echoes this sentiment. He highlights the influence of multicultural consumers on everything from flavor profiles to marketing. These diverse perspectives, he says, are keeping things exciting in the tequila and mezcal scene.

Tequila Avión’s Xavier Zamudio credits digitalization with breaking down cultural barriers. “Once-dominant Western influences” are making way for a global exchange where unique traditions are celebrated. This openness allows consumers to discover the beauty of agave spirits and the rich cultures that produce them.

Costa Tequila’s Hi/Lo concept aims to educate consumers on the attributes of tequila and the profiles of agave. (Image courtesy of Costa Tequila)

Agave spirits on fire: Market booming, innovation flourishing

So how’s this love affair with tequila and mezcal translating into sales? Pretty darn well. According to Green, agave spirits are a hot commodity in 2024. Tequila remains a classic, but mezcal is experiencing a surge in popularity across the country. Dos Hombres itself is experiencing double-digit growth, both on and off the shelves.

The story is similar for Costa Tequila. They’ve seen a staggering 87% year-over-year sales growth in 2023, with distribution expanding by a whopping 150%. And the demand isn’t limited to the US – Gavula reports a surge in interest from international importers and distributors, with Asia, Australia, and the Middle East all vying for a taste of the good stuff.

This global thirst for agave isn’t surprising considering industry data. Agave spirits hold the title of the second-highest growth category globally, following closely behind non-alcoholic beverages. That’s according to Antonio de la Rocha, global head of innovation and creative director of Mexican spirits at Pernod Ricard.

A crowded marketplace: Room for innovation?

With all this love in the air, it’s no surprise that more and more brands are jumping on the tequila and mezcal bandwagon. This influx of competitors has some worried about saturation, but industry leaders see it as an opportunity for creativity.

Costa Tequila’s Gavula acknowledges the challenge, but uses it as a springboard for innovation. Their Hi/Lo tequilas, for example, combine agave sourced from two distinct regions in Mexico, offering a unique flavor experience that merges the fruity notes of the highlands with the earthy characteristics of the lowlands.

This focus on education and exploration is key in this crowded market, according to Gavula. Consumers are looking for authentic experiences, and brands that can tell the story behind their tequilas and mezcals are sure to win hearts (and taste buds).

Spicy margaritas and smoky old fashioneds: The future of agave cocktails

The rise of premium tequila and mezcal isn’t just about what’s in the bottle – it’s

spilling over into the world of cocktails. On-premise menus are showcasing agave spirits in exciting new ways, with bartenders getting creative and crafting innovative libations.

Carlos Andrés Ramírez, global advocacy and public relations manager for House of Tequila (a Pernod Ricard company), witnesses mezcal’s rise firsthand. “Mezcal is way beyond Mexico now,” he says. Consumers are venturing beyond sipping it neat and exploring its potential in cocktails. Mezcal twists on classic drinks like the Negroni, Paloma, Margarita, and even the Old Fashioned are becoming increasingly popular.

Pernod Ricard’s Antonio de la Rocha shares that agave-based spirits have continued to grow on the global stage. (Image courtesy of Pernod Ricard)

Spicy cocktails are another major trend, with bartenders using agave spirits to create drinks that tantalize the taste buds. Costa Rica’s recent release, Costa Tequila Café, is a perfect example. This coffee liqueur, made with tequila, offers bartenders a versatile base for unique concoctions, both on its own and in mixed drinks. It taps into the current espresso martini craze, but also allows for experimentation with other coffee-infused cocktails.

This agave cocktail renaissance isn’t just about trendy ingredients. Green at Dos Hombres highlights the educational role that bars play. As more bartenders experiment with mezcal, he says, it finds its way onto more menus, educating consumers and expanding their agave horizons.

The Future is Agave

Looking ahead, the future of tequila and mezcal seems bright. Green predicts that mezcal will continue to outpace other spirits as consumers delve deeper into the world of agave. Brands that prioritize education, high-quality products, and innovative cocktail creations are poised to lead the way. Dos Hombres, for example, remains committed to traditional, sustainable methods while keeping up with the evolving market.

Gavula compares the current state of the tequila market to the “third or fourth inning” of a baseball game. There’s immense potential for international growth, he says, with vast, untapped markets waiting to be explored.

Experts across the board agree: the agave spirits category is experiencing a golden age. Fueled by consumer interest in Mexican heritage, quality ingredients, and innovative cocktails, tequila and mezcal are poised to remain stars of the beverage world for years to come. So, next time you’re at a bar, ditch the sugary margarita mix and explore the world of premium tequilas and mezcals. You might just discover your new favorite spirit – and a whole new appreciation for Mexico’s rich agave tradition.