Wasting away again in Margaritaville may not be quite as pleasant an escape to paradise as in the past. That is because the USA is facing a tequila shortage due to extreme drought conditions and unusually hot weather this winter in Mexico.
As a result, agave farmers are warning of a tequila shortage just as demand for tequila in the States has skyrocketed, surpassing bourbon.
Everstream Analytics’ chief meteorologist Jon Davis told the New York Post “at a time when large agave crops are needed to meet demand, the extreme weather in Mexico is increasing the problems and the potential for scarcity of the product.”
He went to to add that “an example of the extreme heat occurred in late February (Feb. 27) when Puente Mezcal reached a high temperature of 110.5 degrees. This was the hottest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere during the month of February.”
Add to this the high demand – nearly every celebrity now has a tequila brand and there are seemingly nearly as many as tequila brands out there now as vodka – and, well, your margarita is either going to cost more or it will be less mezcal (or tequila; both come from agave plants) and more mix to keep the cost down. That sure would water down your margarita.
Qui Tequila co-founder Pete Girgis went on“Fox & Friends First” and said, “what I can tell you is this agave and tequila overall consumption has been skyrocketing. Agave prices have gone up 10 times from where they were 10 years ago. And right now, tequila has become one of the fastest growing spirits in the country for the first time ever, outselling U.S. whiskey in this country.”
There’s no quick fix, either, as it takes eight years for an agave plant to reach the stage where it can produce tequila. So farmers just can’t create new fields overnight. Agave plants are grown only in certain areas of Mexico and to be considered tequila must come from one of the four states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.
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