Brands Report 2023: Mezcal

The leader now looks to be under challenge from a newcomer that debuted in the list last year.

When mezcal started to make waves in developed markets around the world, Del Maguey was the first ashore. Back then, Del Maguey was all rustic and romantic – its story told through the adventures of Ron Cooper and friends who brought these otherworldly, single estate agave spirits to the wider world – but now, owned by Pernod Ricard, has anything changed? It’s kept most of its magic, according to our poll, with 25% making it their first choice and more than half keeping the brand within easy reach.

It’s worth mentioning that, as the category matures, Del Maguey’s hold on the house pour (mostly through its mixing sub-brand Vida), weakens. In 2019, two-thirds of bars that stocked mezcal stocked Del Maguey, it was 44% in 2020 and 38% in 2021 – it’s levelled off since at 25%. So a smaller share, but of a bigger pie.

The growth story of late has come from Siete Misterios. Now in the same stable as Michter’s, the artisan mezcal, founded by Julio and Eduardo Mestre, has surged up our bestselling list after debuting in fourth last year. It’s now the number one mezcal in 17% of our bars and a top-three choice in 44%. For the first time since we started polling on mezcal, it seems conceivable that it could challenge Del Maguey. That it’s now the trending mezcal is another indicator it might.

Montelobos, which was acquired by Gruppo Campari in 2019, is the third brand of what appears to now be a big three in the category. The Iván Saldaña-founded brand was the bestselling mezcal in 12% of bars polled and part of the trio of bestselling in a quarter. Meanwhile, Ilegal mezcal, was the house in 7% of bars that stock the agave spirit, while Diageo’s Mezcal Unión was the house in 6%. The rest of the list appears to be competing for space on the back bar with Bruxo, Alipus, Amores, Los Daznates and Koch making up 8-12% of the top three serves.

How we did it

The Annual Brands Report results are the culmination of a survey of 100 bars from 33 countries around the world which have been nominated or won international awards. The report offers a picture of the buying habits of the world’s best bars – not only which brands sell best, but also what’s trending to indicate the brands that are hot right now.

To view the page-turner edition of the Brands Report click here.

The Brands Report will be serialised on throughout January.