Up, down, to the center, inside!
It’s the traditional toast that accompanies a dose of tequila, and whether you drink it straight or chase it down with a squeeze of lemon, there’s no wrong way to drink it.
But data collected by a website ahead of National Tequila Day suggests that regular tequila drinkers have a preferred brand.
BetArizona.com used Google Trends, alcohol news and culture site VinePair to determine which brands Americans trust in their tequila game, with results overwhelmingly in favor of one brand.
Using VinePair’s list of this year’s hottest tequila brands and knowing which brands people are searching for on Google, BetArizon.com found that Don Julio is the most popular tequila brand in 29 states, including California.
Californians know tequila. According to data from Statista, Californians consumed the largest amount of tequila in the state in 2020, twice as much as Texas, which ranked second on the list.
Don Julio has topped the list on the entire West Coast and Southwest, taking the lead in many states in the southern United States.
Casamigos, the tequila brand founded by actor George Clooney, had clear control over New England and the rest of the northeastern states. In total, Casamigos was the most popular brand in 17 states.
Patron, hip-hop’s favorite tequila in the mid-2000s, took first place in two states: Wyoming and Ohio. And Alaskans seem to prefer the classic: Jose Cuervo. Hawaii is not included in the list due to lack of data.
Despite being the most well-known brands according to the analysis, the list of best-selling spirits rocks (or moves) a little differently. The best-selling brands in 2020 were Jose Cuervo, Patron, Sauza, 1800 and Don Julio, in that order.
Tequila is made by distilling blue agave, and Mexicans have been making their beloved liquor since the 16th century when the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés arrived in Central America. Mexico protects traditional distillation methods and history greatly. By law, only tequila distilled in Jalisco, or in some parts of the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas, can call itself tequila. Anything else is mezcal.
Liquor has seen a recent rise in celebrity interest. Besides Clooney, Eva Longoria, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kendall Jenner, Nick Jonas, and Michael Jordan also have business stakes in the tequila brands. Breaking Bad co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston own their own brand of Mezcal, which, as we now know, isn’t technically tequila.
But despite the endorsement of A-list actors and reality TV stars, it seems that traditional brands are still the go-to choice for most Americans. Don Julio has been making tequila since 1942. The company even has a Don Julio 1942 brand named after the year it was founded. Jose Cuervo was the first to obtain a license to distill tequila – more than 200 years ago.
National Tequila Day is Sunday, July 24, according to the National Day calendar. The site suggests celebrating with a margarita or paloma, but reminds those who celebrate the holiday to celebrate responsibly.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the Mexican states in which tequila can be made.
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