Each year for Cinco de Mayo, tequila flows at bars and restaurants across the country. But Americans are pretty fond of the agave-based drink the other 364 days of the year, as well.
A study by the IWSR, a leading source of data on the alcoholic beverage market, found that Americans drink more tequila than any other nation on earth. And we’re drinking more and more of it.
Consumption of tequila, mezcal and other agave-based spirits was up 9% in the U.S. last year. Collectively the category is expected to see growth of 4% per year through 2022, which will put it close to the level of rum sales in the U.S.
Mezcal is the fastest growing spirit among agave-based drinks, with consumption jumping 32.4% last year, due in large part to a small starting base of aficionados. Tequila, which had a large number of fans already, was up an impressive 8.5%.
Globally, tequila is growing at a slower pace. The IWSR forecasts growth of just 2.5% worldwide.
The growth in tequila sales comes as Americans are drinking less on the whole.
If you’re planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and trying to decide which tequila to enjoy, we’ve got a few suggestions.
Four tequilas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Made with a combination of rainwater and spring water, this is an incredibly smooth and delicious take on the anejo style. With hints of natural vanilla on the nose and just a hint of peach on the finish, it’s best served neat or on the rocks. (The Blanco is excellent as well.)
Tequila Chamucos Blanco
Made with 100% blue agave, this is a crisp, clean blanco that stays true to its roots. It has a peppery finish and an unexpected sweetness at the finish that makes it unique and extremely well balanced.
JaJa Tequila Reposado
Like small batch liquors? This one’s aged for six months in oak barrels before it’s bottled. The name—JaJa—is the Spanish equivalent to “LOL” but the tequila is nothing to laugh about.
Casa Noble Reposado
Cara Noble is one of the few organically produced tequilas on the market. Aged for just under a year in French white oak, it has a vanilla nose and elements of toffee and perhaps pineapple, but has an incredibly smooth finish.