don julio brands report

Brands Report 2021: Tequila

06 January, 2021

Diageo’s Don Julio has topped the bestselling tequila list for the sixth year in a row. The brand accounted for 15% of our bars’ first-choice tequilas and 18% of the top-three pours in the world’s best venues.

The growth of Diageo’s World Class cocktail competition has undoubtedly played a role in exposing the brand to the industry’s biggest influencers over the past decade. However, with Thomas Estes’ Ocho also taking 15% of the first choice votes, it wasn’t such a convincing win for Don Julio. Ocho is a true bartender favourite and topped the bestselling list in 2015, but narrowly missed out this year after Diageo’s premium offering took more of the second and third-choice votes.

Arguably the biggest story from the bestselling tequila list is the debut appearance of ex-George Clooney and now Diageo-owned Casamigos. The premium tequila was bought by the spirits giant in June 2017 for a staggering US$1bn and, having featured in three of the previous four top-trending lists, Casamigos has now made its move into the top 10 bestselling and is likely to continue its climb in the years to come.

After Bacardí bought Patrón at the beginning of 2018, the brand rose to second in the bestselling list, its joint highest in history. In 2021 is has taken third place ahead of Pernod’s Olmeca Altos and high-volume brand Jose Cuervo, which continues its steady descent in the rankings since Diageo dropped its distribution deal in late 2012.

Fortaleza, which is this years top-trending brand, has made just its third appearance in the bestselling list and it’s also its joint highest – not bad for a brand that launched in 2005. Calle 23 is another member of the young tequila wave and, having exploded on to the scene in 2013, just four years after its birth, the brand has slowly begun to drop down the bestselling pecking order, with 2021 its lowest ranking to date.



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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