Bloomberg Línea — Although nobody knows the reason why the United States celebrates National Tequila Day on July 24, the truth is that the ancestral Mexican beverage has caused an enormous economic impact in the country, even greater than in its country of origin.
As with what happens with May 5, the date takes on greater importance north of the Rio Grande, since very few people in Mexico know that the local day dedicated to the national drink is the third Saturday of March, as decreed by Mexico’s Congress in 2018.
How much tequila does Mexico export to the US?
The main impact is the volume of exports represented by this agave beverage, as well as the growth recorded since 1993, when there began to be talk of a boom due to Americans’ taste for margaritas and tequila shots.
In 1993, according to the Economic Information System (SIE) of the Bank of Mexico, the U.S. imported less than $112 million worth of the beverage, most of which was clear, non-aged tequila, or that with less than 100% agave, as well as aged, or reposado, which must have only agave sugars in order to be denominated thus.
Three decades later, tequila has become one of Mexico’s main exports.
At the end of 2022, according to the SIE, tequila producers exported almost $4.35 billion of tequila to the US. In other words, in less than 30 years, tequila exports to the United States grew by more than 3,790%.
Who drinks more tequila, Mexico or the US?
Tequila was born in Mexico, where the appellation of origin is located in a very narrow strip in the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas, according to the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT).
However, its main consumption take place in Mexico and the United States, and it is the US that consumes the most. According to the CRT, in 2022 Mexico produced 651.4 million liters of the beverage. Of that production, 338.5 million liters were exported to the US. That is, a little more than half: 51.96%.
Which is drunk more in the US, tequila or Mexican beer?
Between beer and tequila, Mexico quenches the United States’ thirst for alcoholic beverages. In 2022 alone, Mexico exported $6.8 billion worth of beer. This added to the $4.35 billion from tequila adds up to $11.15 billion, part of what the Economy Ministry reports as Mexico’s total exports to the neighboring country: $455 billion.
Long live margaritas
According to a survey by NationalDay.com, the favorite form of tequila consumption in the US is in mixed drinks, and there is nothing more popular than the margarita, and 76% of US consumers prefer their tequila in a margarita.