We may be more than 14,000 kilometres and halfway around the world from Mexico, but Australians can’t get enough of its national spirit, tequila.
Tequila continues to be the fastest growing spirit segment in the country, with Australians being the world’s third-biggest tequila consumers per capita, behind the United States and Mexico.
This rise in demand for tequila products has seen Australians wanting to ‘trade up’ when it comes to their beverages. Patrón, for example, has reported increased demand from consumers for its super-premium aged Añejo and Reposado tequilas.
Patrón Reposado retails for $100, while Patrón Añejo is priced at $115.
“We are starting to see a rise in more educated consumers who possess a deeper understanding of tequila’s diversity and depth of flavour,” said Joey Chisholm, Patrón Execution Manager.
“At Patrón we are noticing Australians are using their newfound tequila knowledge to become more refined drinkers, trading up in cocktails like the iconic Margarita, which continues to be a hit.
“People are now swapping the traditional silver base for a super-premium aged tequila, used in popular cocktails such as the Tommy’s Margarita.”
Sitting alongside the classic Patrón Silver, Patrón Reposado and Patrón Añejo are the two aged variations in Patrón’s core range, which are carefully distilled in small batches before being aged in a combination of French, Hungarian and American whiskey oak barrels.
“Australians are wanting to know how their tequila is crafted, what is in it and how to drink it,” said Chisholm.
“We have seen a trend with consumers trading up and finding enjoyment in the rich flavours and aromas of aged tequilas. Extremely versatile and perfect with food, aged tequila can be enjoyed neat, bringing out a smooth and complex flavour, or to elevate classic cocktails such as the Margarita, Patrón Reposado Paloma or Old-Fashioned – just to name a few.”
Premiumisation surged during COVID-19
The desire for higher quality drinks, at premium prices, thrived during COVID-19. IWSR reports that when consumers were restricted from going out to their favourite restaurants and bars, they pent their discretionary budgets on luxury experiences they could bring into the home, such as streamed entertainment services, gourmet meals, make-at-home cocktails, and sophisticated wines and spirits.
Globally, premium-and-above brands (excluding baijiu) grew 6% compared to 2019. High-end alcohol beverages have seen remarkable resilience despite wider spending concerns across FMCG.
In Australia, tequila brands such as Clase Azul are on shelf with price tags ranging up to almost $4000 per bottle.
A new report from CGA by NielsenIQ has also found that drinkers are opting for tequila over higher-end dark spirits. Agave-based spirits is challenging whiskey and vodka, with recent growth outpacing both categories on more than one price tier.
Tequila’s percent change in dollar sales is ‘higher in every price tier’ versus the same price tier in whiskey and vodka. Across all tiers the agave-based spirit is demonstrating stronger sales than other subcategories so far in 2022. The category’s price tier percent growth in ultra premium reached 171%, while premium saw growth of 133%.
Premiumisation is also driving consumers to ‘trade up’, with 20% of tequila lovers drinking the spirit neat.
Andrew Hummel, client solutions director – Americas, said: “What will be vital for suppliers and operators is collaboration – to improve their tequila offering and identify what further opportunities can be capitalised on.”
ResearchandMarket.com anticipates that the global tequila market size will reach $14.35 billion by 2028, expanding at a clip of CAGR of 5.4% over that period.
To celebrate Patrón’s aged tequila range, Casa Merida in Potts Point, Sydney is offering a variety of aged tequila cocktails, such as the Mile High Margarita, alongside an exclusive Patrón-infused menu that will only be available during the month of September. The set menu is $65 per person, food only or $115 per person with three pairing cocktails and consists of three courses that have been specifically curated to compliment the flavours of Patrón Reposado and Patrón Añejo.
Alternatively, if you are entertaining at home, try one of these recipes, including the Tommy’s Margarita, a firm favourite with the Drinks Digest team.
- 60ml Patrón Reposado
- 30ml lime juice
- 15ml agave nectar, to taste
- Lime wheel or wedge for garnish
Method: Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously with ice to chill. Strain
onto fresh ice in a salt-rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge.
Mile High Margarita
- 45ml Patrón Añejo
- 30ml Citrónage Orange Liqueur
- 30ml pineapple juice
- 15ml lime juice
- 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
- Lime wheel for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients except Angostura Bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to chill.
Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Add 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters over the top. Garnish with a