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Bobby Ghosh

The Mexican Liquor Boom Is About to Get an American Boost

The debate over the origins of sotol is pointless:  It’s all good.

Texas’s sotol is good for Mexico, too.

Texas’s sotol is good for Mexico, too.

Photographer: Allyson Campbell


You may have missed it for all the noise around the noise around the culture wars, but Americans are drinking more and more like Mexicans. Agave-based spirits from our southern neighbor are on the verge of a major breakthrough: This year, Americans will spend more money on tequila and mezcal than on domestic whiskeys.

And it’s not a one-off, either. IWSR, which tracks and analyzes drinks market data, predicts that sales of agave-based spirits will top $13.3 billion next year, overtaking vodka as America’s most-purchased spirit, and pushing whiskey to third place.