It’s no surprise that being the national drink, Mexicans consume the most tequila per person. In fact they drink on average almost 50 shots for each adult over a year. But I bet you’ll never guess who the second biggest tequila drinkers are worldwide. Read on to find out what countries consume the most tequila.
Everyone from The Rock to the Kardashians have been cashing in on tequila’s exploding popularity. Long being notorious as a party starter or a late night, sometimes regrettable, shot, today’s tequila drinker is just as likely to order a premium sipper. In the US, tequila sales volumes have increased by 79% in the last five years, an annual rate above 12%. But that’s still not enough for the US to take out the number two position.
Note: this article covers tequila consumption per capita, you can also find out which countries are the biggest markets overall for tequila.
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Top 10 Tequila Drinkers
Top Tequila Consumers Worldwide:
- United States
- Puerto Rico
- El Salvador
Latvia is the second biggest tequila consumer worldwide, consuming on average 31 shots per adult per year. Although growing fast, the United States is in third place with adults drinking the equivalent of 26 shots per person, around half that of Mexicans. (Although spring-breaking Americans are sure to add to Mexico’s tally.) From third place it’s a big step down, with Panama consuming 6.7 shots per person.
Mexicans are the highest consumers of tequila
No prizes for guessing who comes out in first place. Tequila, the national drink of Mexico, is enjoyed by Mexicans in a wide variety of settings. From national holidays like Day of the Dead and Independence Day, to birthday celebrations and visits to the cantina, tequila is never far from life in Mexico. Tequila here is most often sipped straight, or with grapefruit soda added to make a paloma. While Mezcal is certainly on the rise in Mexico, it still has a long way to go to upset tequila as the country’s most popular spirit.
Latvians are the second highest consumers of tequila
What makes tequila so popular in Latvia, half a world away from its home in Mexico? While we can’t say for sure, there are a couple of factors that may be contributing. A significant portion of Latvia’s liquor sales (around 15%) appear to be to its Baltic neighbors, Estonia and Lithuania. Latvia has a lower tax rate on liquor, so it is common for people from neighboring countries to shop for liquor in Latvia, pushing up their apparent consumption. Secondly, according to the World Health Organization, Latvia has the second highest rate of alcohol consumption generally.
Americans are the third highest consumers of tequila
On average Americans drink a shot of tequila every two weeks. Tequila has long been popular in the United States. In fact the US’s most popular cocktail is a margarita. With the recent boom in celebrity backed tequila and a general shift upmarket, tequila is reaching a much larger audience. Future consumption levels are only expected to grow.
Where does my country rank?
If you’re wondering where your country sits in tequila popularity ranks, take a look at the long list below. New Zealanders sit just outside the top 10 in 11th position followed by the Dutch. The British are in 19th place, while Irish are further back in 32nd. South Africans consume the 26th highest amount of tequila.
|Position||Country||Shots per year per adult|
|18||United Arab Emirates||1.34|
|22||Trinidad And Tobago||1.00|
Data based on published CRT total production and export figures for 2021; World Bank population data and age demographics for 2021. Adults were taken to be 20 years and older. Countries with populations less than 1 million were excluded. A shot was taken as 1.5 ounces, or 44.4 milliliters.
Learn more about the history and production of tequila.