Artisan Tequila sales grow by 50%
Tequila is the fastest-growing spirits category in UK retail, currently experiencing 13% growth. While this Mexican spirits category still only constitutes a tiny fraction of the market, it is rapidly premiumising and shedding its image as a cheap party shot.
While sales are growing across all price segments, it is the ultra-premium category registering the most success, rising 50% in the last year alone.
With the current craft spirits revolution, tequila producers have seen the opportunity to focus on more artisan methods of production, using 100% Blue Agave. One such producer is Villa Lobos – the result of a friendship and close collaboration between two of the world’s most respected and trusted tequila authorities: Carlos Camarena and Dale Sklar.
Carlos is a third generation tequilero, owner of Los Altos Distillery and the surrounding agave fields. He is the third largest agave grower, and possibly the most renowned tequila producer around. Dale Sklar has been in the spirits business for more than 40 years and has a true passion for tequila… his family business represented and introduced Jose Cuervo to the UK.
The agave used for Villa Lobos is entirely harvested by agaveros from the Camarena Family plantations in Los Altos, the celebrated Arandas highlands, ensuring only the sweetest and most mature are used. The Reposado tequila, which spends 11 months in American oak barrels, won a double gold medal and Best Tequila Award at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The range also includes the unaged and fresh Blanco, which is perfect for summer sipping or in various cocktails – see Camarena’s Margarita Sangria below. Villa Lobos also produces an Anejo, which spends 24 months in American oak barrels, and the Extra Anejo, a rich and golden tequila that is aged for 48 months in American oak barrels.
Camarena’s Margarita Sangria
This recipe makes a 1 litre jug for the fridge, with around 8 Margarita glass serves.
– 375 ml dry white wine, like Pinot Grigio
– 200 ml Villa Lobos Blanco Tequila
– 100 ml Combier L’Original Triple Sec
– 25 ml Combier Gomme Syrup (to taste)
– 150 ml freshly-squeezed orange juice
– 75 ml freshly-squeezed lime juice
– 1 orange, sliced
– 2 limes, sliced
– 3 stems of coriander
In a 1 litre jug, combine the white wine, tequila, triple sec, syrup, orange juice and lime juice. Add the orange slices, lime slices and coriander.
Cover and chill for at least two hours. The longer the sangria sits with the coriander, the stronger the flavour will be.
Salt the rim of a Margarita glass, add three ice cubes and garnish with a twist of orange, a slice of lime and a few coriander leaves.