Tequila has become the center of attention for leading mixologists, the hottest nightlife establishments, world travelers, and spirits connoisseurs worldwide. The emerging trend in America’s cultural hubs is the absence of white spirits in lieu of the Mexican Agave—from this birthed the tequila cocktail, tequila as a premium sipping drink, and a growing interest in meaningful appreciation of the spirit.

With tequila production reporting a growth of 3.5 percent in 2010 (257.5 millions of liters), exports increasing by 12 percent, a boost in sales of tequila in the USA of nearly four percent (11.6 million cases) and high-end tequila category unveiling a great performance (up by 17 percent), there is much future for tequila.

"The industry will continue to work with the agave growers, master distillers, exporters, distributors and connoisseurs alike, riding on the industry’s momentum, to bring meaningful appreciation of tequila to the world."

Tequila has much to offer in the way of culture, passion and complexity, and this report has been designed to capitalize on the industry’s movement, by encouraging sophisticated tasting while paying homage to the masterful processes and care behind its production, distillation, aging and bottling in Jalisco.

Ensuring quality

The tequileros are proud of the heritage and history of tequila; we feel tequila represents Mexico and, in that regard, we have taken a number of steps to ensure the quality of products in the market. To bear the nomenclature of ‘tequila’, the drink must fall under one of two qualified classes: 100 percent agave (distilled with 100 percent blue agave) or tequila (manufactured from 51 percent blue agave), using Agave of the species Tequilana Weber Blue variety.

The industry has achieved astounding developments in recent years with the introduction of a new category in 2006, “extra añejo” or “ultra-aged” which must be aged a minimum of three years. The spirit’s growth is not limited to premiumization, as tequila continues to develop with more classes, infusions, brands on the market and advancements in production, distillation and aging.

The industry will continue to work with the agave growers, master distillers, exporters, distributors and connoisseurs alike, riding on the industry’s momentum, to bring meaningful appreciation of tequila to the world.

While in Mexico the most traditional way to drink tequila is sipping it (maybe chasing with sangrita or lime juice), there is much more to tequila appreciation that the world should know. The National Chamber for the Tequila Industry is excited to educate and hone true tequila aficionados, who can taste, distinguish, appreciate and share all the category has to offer. We encourage you to use these tips to explore the complexities tequila has to offer, understand the passion and history behind the spirit, and drink responsibly to truly learn the art of tequila appreciation.