Brands Report: Tequila

16 January, 2018

It’s all about top quality when it comes to Mexico’s finest, reports Shay Waterworth

Premium Tequila brands are beginning to gain momentum in global bars, especially those that carry the 100% agave label. In fact, only one on the list of best-selling brands is not made from 100% agave, highlighting the importance of premiuimisation and possibly the beginning of the end for mixtos.

Don Julio retains its top spot in the list of best-selling brands, with nearly 20% of bars stocking it as a first choice.

Both Don Julio and Patrón have not only been driving the premium sector of tequila in top bars around the world, but the rejuvenation of tequila cocktails.

Tequila ambassador Tomas Estes’ Ocho may do small volumes, but here in the elite bar world continues to challenge Don Julio as the best-selling tequila brand – 12% of the bars stock it as their go-to tequila. Ocho also remains number one on the list of Top Trending tequilas.

The emergence of terroir as an important factor for the agave plant sits very nicely for Ocho, as Estes is one of the biggest advocates of the effects that different growing conditions have on the final flavour profiles of tequila – a concept traditionally associated with wine rather that spirits.

El Jimador, one of the largest producers of tequila in the world with volumes of more than one million 9-litre cases in 2016, according to DI’s Millionaires’ Club, is one of the biggest casualties of the list. In 2017, El Jimador sat seventh in the best sellers, but this year it has fallen off the list completely, finishing 12th with fewer than 2% of bars using it as a house pour.

In the Top Trending list we have a new entry in Casamigos. Last summer actor George Clooney offloaded his tequila brand to Diageo for US$1bn.

No one quite understood why Diageo bought it, but its inclusion here says this brand is gaining traction in the best bars in the world.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.

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