You have flavoured whiskeys, vodkas, and rums. Now what do you think about flavoured tequila? Until 2004, flavoured tequila was legally not tequila, it was a tequila product.
Then came new regulations introduced by the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico.
Ever since, flavoured tequila became a mainstream drink and its demand grew phenomenally, bringing in more companies from outside Mexico.
Flavour Inspired Success
Tanteo which has been in the business since 2014 began with spicy Margarita as the inspiration. The source of its inspiration came from Death + Co., NYC, which offers a cocktail of jalapeño, Chartreuse, and tequila.
But even Death + Co. was not able to produce the same flavour cocktail after cocktail in a consistent manner. Then, the company thought of introducing a tool so that its bartenders can produce the same flavour of spicy Margaritas over and again.
The company used to have a lineup of tequilas flavoured with chocolate, tropical fruit, and jalapeño. But the new management that took over the company chucked the chocolate and tropical fruit flavours and instead launched tequilas in habanero and chipotle flavours.
Heat & Flavour
These drinks have fresh peppers infused in them that control the spice which no more require sweeteners to soften them. These drinks are 80 proof. The flavour gets a boost from the high contents of alcohol. So some brands offer their flavoured tequilas at 60 proof and 50 proof.
They use sugar to hide away the flavour. Some brands use mango or pineapple to cut the flavour but we use real peppers. Certainly, Tanteo is aiming to satiate the American drinker’s thirst for hot pepper tequila.
In the same vein YaVe Tequila introduced jalapeño and mango flavoured tequilas in 2017. Playa Real and Agave Loco have also launched their flavoured tequilas that use a secondary flavour to cut the heat.
Even big players like Sauza Tequila and Patron have a lineup of flavoured tequilas.
Drink to New Successes
YeVe thinks flavoured tequila is following a logical growth trajectory of the tequila’s popularity in general. The US market which is driving this growth was already having flavoured whiskey, vodka, and rums.
So, flavoured tequilas are the natural next step. The use of fresh flavouring agents seems to have succeeded in overcoming some barriers and shifting mindsets to accepting flavoured tequilas.
This strategy seems to have worked well. Prior to COVID pandemic, Tanteo CEO Neil Grosscup was aiming to sell 60,000 cases of flavoured tequilas from Tanteo this year, mostly in the US.
Cocktail Success Story
Tanteo’s success with flavoured tequilas has boosted the spirits of 85-member Juanacatlán distillery cooperative that manufactures flavoured tequilas for the company. It also manufactures unflavoured tequilas for the local market. Now, the distillery is planning to launch its first tequila in the traditional category.
Tanteo CEO says that the company understands the American taste a bit better now. The company has been successful in establishing and commercialising tequila as a cocktail drink.
Since the company has grown with the flavoured tequila brand, now it is in a position to throw its weight behind traditional tequila as well.