Tequila’s rise in reputation has been one thing of an underdog’s story. Thirty years in the past, most drinkers knew the spirit solely as an ingredient in a Margarita or a party-starting shot. Even 20 years in the past, because the modern cocktail revolution was in full tilt, only some manufacturers of tequila, corresponding to Herradura, El Tesoro and Jose Cuervo, have been accessible to customers exterior of Mexico.
Propelling the spirit to world reputation was no easy feat. It took years of intelligent advertising campaigns, commerce reveals and pop cultural cachet—from George Clooney founding Casamigos to Avión performing as an integral a part of HBO’s hit collection Entourage. As of 2021, in accordance with the Worldwide Wine & Spirit Competitors, agave spirits have been the second fastest-growing spirits class, trailing solely premixed cocktails. In keeping with the Distilled Spirits Council of the USA, gross sales of tequila and mezcal climbed 30.1 p.c year-over-year to $5.2 billion, with stories indicating that they’re gunning for vodka’s crown because the most-sold spirit within the U.S.
For sure, tequila is now firmly entrenched inside the mainstream. With new manufacturers—a lot of them celebrity-owned—launching on a seemingly each day foundation, the class is within the midst of an unprecedented growth. To assist filter by way of the noise, we surveyed 10 bartenders from all over the world, asking for his or her go-to tequilas for mixing.
For many blended drinks, blanco tequila is the usual as a result of it “tends to be agave-forward, with distinguished notes of citrus and pepper that bode very properly for shaken cocktails,” says Andrea Grujic, bartender at Brooklyn’s Fandi Mata. “I all the time search for one with the ‘100% de agave’ mark on the bottle, and I all the time guarantee that it’s a tequila that hasn’t been sweetened and doesn’t include any form of components.”
For Liana Oster, bar director at Facet Hustle at The NoMad Resort London, regional variations amongst particular manufacturers swimsuit sure cocktails higher than others. “If I wish to mess around with a blanco tequila that boasts extra floral and delicate notes, I lean in the direction of one thing from the Highlands,” she says, referring to bottles from Patrón, Cazadores or Tapatio. “If I needed one thing a bit extra herbaceous, earthy and inexperienced, I’d favor the Lowlands,” corresponding to variations by Cascahuín or Maestro Dobel.