Mexican spirits have enjoyed a steady rate of growth in the UK over the past few years, with trends driven by tequila and boosted by the emergence of mezcal. Indeed, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) last year revealed that volume sales of tequila rose by 83% in UK shops and supermarkets compared to pre-Covid levels, and up by 94% in value. And, in UK pubs and restaurants, the tequila category had outgrown pre-Covid times by 8% in volume and 11% in value
In the US, tequila recently surpassed American whiskey in value terms to become the country's second most valuable spirit category
, with its 'smokier cousin' Mezcal riding the wave of interest in Mexican spirits to become one of the trendiest options for mixologists and barmen across the pond.
And, in the UK, mezcal started making waves from around 2020, with Nick Gillett, managing director of spirits distributor Mangrove, revealing that "demand for mezcal [that year] was up a mouth-watering 1,000%
", albeit from a small starting point.
But it's just the start, with broadening UK consumer demand for traditional, high-ABV, premium Mexican spirits to give rise to Sotol, the distilled, 38% ABV spirit made from the Dasylirion succulent (or Desert Spoon) rather than agave - a key differentiator from the norm.
Bright, grassy and with subtle pepper notes; Sotol's complex flavour profile will be used to great effect by cocktail bars in the UK, with the agave-based Raicilla and Bacanora also to benefit from ever-rising interest in traditional Mexican spirit options.