Sauza Tequila: A Brand Guide

By: Michael Prentice

Sauza logo
  • Founded: 1873
  • Owner: Beam Suntory, which is owned by Japanese based Suntory Beverage & Food
  • Owner headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
  • Cases sold in 2022: 0.9 million
  • Bottles sold: 11 million
  • Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM): NOM-1102
  • Distillery: Tequila Sauza, Tequila, Jalisco
  • Region: Lowlands

Sauza is the eleventh highest selling tequila brand in the world.

Sauza tequila sales have fallen dramatically in recent years. The market has generally been moving away from lower priced mixto tequilas and Sauza sales reflect this. Its relatively new owner Suntory has not managed to effectively promote the brand. This former number one selling tequila brand now sits outside the top 10.

Chart with sales volumes for Sauza tequila
Sauza is one of the few major tequila brands to have declining sales

Sauza Tequila Brand History

Sauza is one of the oldest tequila brands. Sauza tequila was founded by Cenobio Sauza in 1873. Sauza bought the La Antingua Cruz distillery which was one of the oldest in Tequila, Jalisco. In 1888 the name was changed to La Perseverancia.

While Jose Cuervo was the first certified tequila producer, Sauza was the first to export its tequila, in 1888. The first batch went to New Mexico City in the USA. Sauza was the first to label his product “tequila”. It had previously been known as “vino de mezcal” or “mezcal de Tequila” after the town where it was produced.

Sauza has dropped in the rankings somewhat, in 2003 it was the world’s biggest selling tequila by volume. In 2005 it was the 15th highest selling of any spirit.

In 2007 Beam Inc, the company behind Jim Beam, acquired Sauza. In 2014 Japan based Suntory Holdings acquired Beam for US$16 billion. Suntory has the fourth highest sales of tequila of any company worldwide. Its other major tequila brands are Hornitos, 100 Años and El Tesoro.

Sauza Tequila Product Range

Sauza is one of the more industrial tequila producers and uses a diffuser to increase yield and reduce costs. This method extracts the juice from the agave before cooking it. Most tequila production involves cooking the agave first before extracting the juices. Sauza calls its technique “gentle extraction”.

Sauza products are:

  • Blanco
  • Gold
  • Añejo
  • Extra añejo

The blanco and the gold are mixto tequilas (51% agave, 49% other, likely from sugar cane), the añejo is 100% agave.

How Much is Sauza Tequila? Price Guide

How Much is a Shot of Sauza Tequila at a Bar?

A shot of Sauza costs about $6 at a bar or restaurant in the US in 2024. It may range from $5 to $7.

This is based on a review I made of tequila menus from 19 bars and restaurants in different states across the US.

How Much is a Bottle of Sauza Tequila?

Sauza tequila costs between $12 and $20 for a 750ml bottle. The limited edition Casa Sauza XA costs $180. The cheapest bottle of Sauza is the blanco, which costs $12.

Further Questions About Sauza

Who owns Sauza tequila?

Sauza tequila is ultimately owned by Suntory Holdings of Japan. Suntory Holdings owns Beam Suntory which owns Casa Sauza.

Does Sauza tequila have additives?

Yes Sauza tequila has additives. Aged expressions are likely to have more additives than the blanco. Additives include caramel coloring, glycerine, sweetener and oak extract.

Where is Sauza tequila made?

Sauza tequila is made at NOM-1102 at Tequila Sauza Distillery in the town of Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico.

What Sauza tequila is the best?

The highest rated Sauza tequila is Casa Sauza XA, the extra añejo. This is also the most expensive in the line up.

What type of tequila is Sauza?

Most Sauza tequila is a mixto, meaning it is made from a blend of agave and up to 49% other sugars. Sauza also makes 100% agave tequila. All Sauza tequilas are made with a diffusor. Sauza makes blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo tequila.

Does Sauza tequila go off?

An unopened bottle of Sauza tequila will never go off, provided it is stored away from direct sunlight and high temperatures. Once opened Sauza should be drunk within a couple years.

Is Sauza tequila gluten free?

Yes, Sauza tequila is gluten free. Like all tequilas (including mixtos) Sauza contains no gluten.

Is Sauza real tequila?

Some Sauza is not made from 100% agave so many would not call it a “true tequila”. Both Sauza’s mixto and 100% agave expressions are certified Tequilas. All Sauza tequilas are made with a diffuser which is a modern highly industrialized process. Many would not consider diffuser-made tequila real tequila.

Is Sauza tequila Kosher?

Only Sauza’s 100% agave tequilas are approved Kosher. Sauza mixto tequilas are not Kosher.

What is Sauza tequila ABV?

All Sauza tequilas sold in the US are 40% ABV (80 proof). In Mexico they may be 35% to 38%. Almost all tequila sold in the US is 40% ABV.

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