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Tequila sales soaring thanks to cocktails

By Nikkie Sutton , 20-Apr-2017
Last updated on 20-Apr-2017 at 11:31 GMT2017-04-20T11:31:56Z

Premium: El Diablo is a Tequila-based cocktail to tempt spirits drinkers
Premium: El Diablo is a Tequila-based cocktail to tempt spirits drinkers

Sales of Tequila are on the up as consumers move from drinking shots and towards enjoying it in cocktails or as a sipping spirit.

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has revealed drinkers are taking Tequila more seriously with sales growing steadily throughout 2016, according to the body’s latest market report.

Close to 1.9m bottles of the Mexican spirit were sold in pubs, bars and restaurants last year, which was up 3% in volume in the 12 months leading up to December 2016.

This was up by 6% in value, compared to the year before and worth £160m.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale highlighted the importance of the spirit across the market and outlined the future for it.

High-quality cocktail combinations

He said: “The UK has seen a boom in Tequila sales over the past two years, up £46m to £173m in 2016, an increase of 37% [across the on and off-trade].

“The trend is moving away from shots and strongly towards high-quality cocktail combinations and increasingly sophisticated sipping products.

“Additionally, there is a growing popularity of craft cocktails being enjoyed in bars and then recreated in our homes.”

Research released by digital agency Kerve revealed that gin will give way to Tequila because the tipple is growing faster than the overall spirits category.

According to bartenders, Tequila is a growing trend that is now being consumed in a completely different way.

Attitudes have changed 

London’s iconic OXO Tower Restaurant assistant bar manager Sophie Bratt was recently chosen as the UK entrant to find global Tequila giant Patron’s international ‘Margarita of the Year’.

She gave her expertise on the rise of Tequila and how bartenders have adapted to the spirit trends.

She said: “Agave spirits – especially Tequila – are now being acknowledged and accepted more widely as a crafted product with a plethora of rich flavours.

“It is these rich, natural flavours that the production and ageing of the product impart that allows bartenders to create sophisticated drinks, which in the past would have been resigned to whisky and gin bases.

“I believe attitudes to drinking have changed through knowledge – we drink to enjoy, taste and savour excellence.”

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