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Tequila becomes a big business amid 'love affair' with Mexican drink

Chelsea Lombardo
Production Assistant

If you’ve noticed more and more people throwing back tequila shots at the bar — you aren’t imagining things.

A recent study from Impact Databank showed that higher-priced Tequila volumes have skyrocketed in the U.S., with the most popular brands ringing in over $1 billion in sales.

On Wednesday, the U.S. celebrated National Tequila Day — the latest example of how the Mexican spirit has captured the public’s imagination.

“I personally think it's a love affair that the whole country is having with just good quality, well-crafted spirits,” Jaime Salas, Milagro Tequila’s “national ambassador” told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM this week.

“Tequila is one of heritage, of tradition,” he added. “I think right now the world is kind of focused on all these great things coming from Mexico that are both entrenched in the culture, as well as well-crafted processes, basically.”

According to the Distilled Spirts Council of the United States, tequila volumes have grown a whopping 158% since 2002, with an average rate of 6.1% per year. In 2018 alone, 18.5 million 9-liter cases were sold.

Tequila gold, Mexican, alcohol in shot glasses, lime and salt, toned image, selective focus

“A lot has changed in the last 20 years,” Salas stated.“I think people really love the fact that things have changed,” as U.S. drinkers embrace certain brands of high-end liquor, he said.

“That's become the focus. You're seeing more an influx of it now more than ever, I think, before,” Salas added.

Milagro tequila can attest to that phenomenon. The brand hit 295,000 cases in the U.S. on 16% growth last year, and its volume has more than doubled since 2012.

“The biggest appreciator of tequila, perhaps, is, in fact, the United States,” Salas said.

“This continent seems to drink the most of it. But it's all over Europe. It's everywhere, really. And it's starting to reach more and more places year on year,” he added.

Chelsea Lombardo is a Production Assistant for Yahoo Finance. You can find more of her work here.

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