Hold the salt and lime - quality tequila is on the rise

Tequila sales in the UK are on the up as Brits move away from drinking shots with salt and lime and instead enjoy quality Tequila in cocktails or as a sipping spirit.

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association's latest Market Report shows that consumers are taking Tequila a lot more seriously with sales continually growing steadily throughout 2016.

Tequila sold in our shops and supermarkets grew +7% in volume in the 12 months to 31/12/16 and +5% in value worth £13million in 2016. 

£4 million pounds worth of that Tequila was sold during the 12 week festive period. The volume sold during the 12 week period up to New Year’s Eve was up +12% compared to the same period the year before.

More Tequila is sold in our bars, pubs and restaurants, close to 1.9 million bottles in 2016, which was up +3% in volume the 12 months to 31/12/16. This was up +6% in value compared to the year before and worth £160million.


Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“The UK has seen a boom in Tequila sales over the last two years, up £46 million to £173 million in 2016, an increase of +37%. The trend is moving away from shots and strongly towards high quality, cocktail combinations and increasingly sophisticated sipping products. Additionally there is a growing popularity of craft cocktails being enjoyed in bars and then recreated in our homes.”


According to the country's top bartenders Tequila is not only a growing trend but is also being consumed in a completely different way.

Tequila is now the must-stock spirit in the UK's most popular bars where it is used as a base for a range of cocktails, as well as being drunk straight as a sipping experience.

The British gin boom has led to people wanting to know more about the provenence and heritage of their spirit drinks.

Tequila is distilled from the blue agave plant primarily found in Mexico. Tequilas made from 100% agave are being savoured and sippled like a rum or fine Scotch.

Sophie Bratt of London's iconic OXO Tower Restaurant was recently picked as the UK entrant to find global Tequila giant Patron's International 'Margarita of the Year'.


Sophie Bratt, Assistant Bar Manager at Harvey Nichols, OXO Tower said:

"Agave spirits - especially Tequila - are now being acknowledged and accepted more widely as a crafted product with a plethora of rich flavours. It is these rich natural flavours that the production and ageing of the product impart that allow bartenders to create sophisticaed drinks which in the past would have been resigned to whisky and gin bases, opening up the world of Tequila drinks.

"I believe that attitudes to drinking have changed through knowledge - we drink to enjoy, taste and savour excellence. When guests tell me they don't like tequila, it's almost like a mission as I believe there is a Tequila/Tequila drink for everyone - don't believe me, I can be found at the OXO Tower Bar!"



Notes to editors:  

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry, representing over 300 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wine and spirits. The WSTA works with its members to promote responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.


For more information please contact:

Lucy Panton - l[email protected]

Tel+44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile+ 44 (0) 7776422656

Harriet Talbot h[email protected]

Tel +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile +44 (0) 7587290720


Twitter @wstauk

RT @WineDrinkersUK: 68% of all wine duty paid in the EU is paid by UK wine drinkers. We don’t think that’s fair – if you agree write to you…

RT @WSTA_Miles: In a nutshell. Wine Drinkers UK coalition unites to campaign for tax cuts | News | The Grocer ⁦@WineDrinkersUK⁩ #cutbackwin…

Gin delivered to your boat amazing @QB_News 😍 🍸 Figures from our latest Market Report show that over 76 million bot…

Connect with us