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UK Tequila sales soar as cocktails usurp shots

Tequila sales in the UK have shot up 37% in two years as drinkers swap shots for cocktails and neat serves, a new report from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association has shown.

As consumers move towards cocktails and sipping serves, sales of Tequila in the UK have soared

The trade body states that Tequila sales totalled £173 million in 2016, driven by increased consumer interest in higher end agave-based spirits.

“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%,” commented Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA.

“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.”

In the 12 months to 31 December 2016, the value of Tequila sold in UK retail increased 5% to £13m, with solid gains over the Christmas and New Year period, while volume sales grew 7%.

Over the same period in the UK’s on-trade, value sales where pushed up 6% to £160m, and volume sales of grew 3% to 1.9m bottles.

According to the WSTA, bartenders believe Tequila is being consumed in a “completely different way” as consumer thirst for drinks with heritage and provenance grows.

“Agave spirits – especially Tequila – are now being acknowledged and accepted more widely as a crafted product with a plethora of rich flavours,” said Sophie Bratt, of London’s OXO Tower, who is also the UK entrant for Patron’s Margarita of the Year contest.

“It is these rich natural flavours that the production and ageing of the product impart that allow bartenders to create sophisticated drinks, which in the past would have been resigned to whisky and gin bases, opening up the world of Tequila drinks.”

Tequila is also experiencing strong momentum in its key US market, with volume sales growing 30% between 2010 and 2015.

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