DI Annual Bar Report: Tequila

Versatile tequila is piling on the plaudits from bartenders and gaining case sales at a rapid rate. Holly Motion reports

The tequila category has been growing aggressively over the past few years. With gin, it has been one of the fastest growing spirits and is forecast to increase 3.6% in volume year on year until 2020. That equates to 1m cases a year for the next three years.

“The versatility of tequila has helped to grow the category – from long drinks to shots,” says Pierre Aymeric-Du Cray, vice president, international, at Pernod Ricard México. “Bartenders find tequila interesting to work with due to the range of creativity and possibilities. Craft trends have also undoubtedly helped and good tequila is no longer an oxymoron.”

He should know, one of his company’s brands, Olmeca Altos – created “not to burn your throat or your wallet” – has shot up the trending charts and registered in best selling this year.

Now for a look at the top spot – Don Julio has an enviable record with the bars report, having consistently performed well in both columns.

Enviable, but there is a tequila with a better history. Despite sliding down the charts of late, José Cuervo still has the best record historically since the bars report’s inception.

Its five best selling accolades on the bounce put it ahead of the Diageo darling. But, back to this year’s victor. Don Julio is the best selling brand in The Clumsies in Athens, Bar Alchemy in Taiwan and Tales & Spirits in Amsterdam (and then some).

The Estes’s Ocho replaces Don Julio as this year’s top trending tequila after threatening to do so for a while.



The Drinks International Annual Bar Report looks to gauge the buying habits of the best bars in the world by conducting a survey of their owners, head bartenders and bar managers.

The bars that took part – what we refer to as the best bars in the world – are a sample of 108 bars that finished in the top 250 places of the World’s 50 Best Bars survey, now owned by William Reed Business Media. Given the depth and scope of The World’s 50 Best Bars poll (voted for by 476 global bar experts) we feel this is the most credible place to source our sample of bars.

In each instance we asked the bartender to rank their three best selling products in each category, giving us an indication of the brands that are selling best.

As we know, a best selling brand, even in the best bars in the world, earns its place on more than taste, so we also wanted to know the brands that are not necessarily doing huge volumes but have cool-appeal right now. This is where the Trending brands come in. These are the brands customers are increasingly asking for, perhaps because of word of mouth, or even on bartenders’ recommendations.

For more on the methodology see How we did it