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It’s the traditional toast that accompanies a shot of tequila, and whether you drink it straight or follow it up with a squeeze of lime, there’s no wrong way to drink it.
But data compiled by a website ahead of National Tequila Day indicates that regular tequila drinkers have a favorite brand.
BetArizona.com used Google Trends and alcohol news and culture website VinePair to determine which brands Americans trust in the tequila game, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of just one. Mark.
Using VinePair’s list of the most popular tequila brands of the year and seeing what brand people search for on Google, BetArizon.com discovered that Don Julio is the most popular tequila brand in 29 states, including California.
And Californians know their tequila. According to data from Statista, Californians consumed the most tequila in the country in 2020, nearly double that of Texas which landed second on the list.
Don Julio topped the list all over the West Coast and Southwest, and took No. 1 in many southern states of the United States.
Casamigos, the tequila brand founded by actor George Clooney, had a clear hold on New England and the rest of the Northeastern states. In total, Casamigos was the most popular brand in 17 states.
Patron, the tequila of choice in mid-2000s hip-hop music, won first place in two states: Wyoming and Ohio. And Alaskans seem to prefer the classic: Jose Cuervo. Hawaii was not included in the list due to lack of data.
Although these are the most popular brands according to the analysis, the list of best-selling spirits shakes (or stirs) a little differently. The top-selling brands in 2020 were Jose Cuervo, Patron, Sauza, 1800 and Don Julio, in that order.
Tequila is made from the distillation of blue agave, and Mexicans have been making this beloved liquor since the 16th century, when Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés arrived in Central America. Mexico is very protective of traditional distillation methods and history. By law, only tequila distilled in the state of Jalisco, or parts of the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas, can be called tequila. Everything else is mezcal.
Alcohol has recently seen a resurgence of interest among celebrities. Along with Clooney, Eva Longoria, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kendall Jenner, Nick Jonas and Michael Jordan all have business stakes in tequila brands. “Breaking Bad” co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston have their own label 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 traditional brands are still the go-to 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 hold a license to distill tequila over 200 years ago.
National Tequila Day is Sunday, July 24, according to the National Day calendar. The website suggests celebrating with a margarita or paloma, but reminds those observing 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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