Excerpted from Upscale Living.

The shot-slamming image is gradually fading away. The chugging days have passed. Tequila is now to be enjoyed slowly. Tequila is to be discerned not simply downed.

Agave may be the new Champagne. Recent figures suggest tequila has generated more than US$8 billion over the last twelve months and is set to rise to $24.10b by 2031, according to Allied Market Research. Tequila sales have grown 70% since last year. It is the ascendancy over other raw spirits. The new generation of premium tequilas has seen a growth of 133%.

Comments by Tom Miller, Commercial Director at Amathus which has an impressive portfolio of high-priced Tequilas.

“Luxury Tequila has to be one of the most exciting and unique categories at the moment and we are seeing three players come out on top in this category. Two established brands, Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul, and the newcomer, Tequila Komos.

“There are a number of areas leading the growth. Firstly, the quality of these luxury brands is exceptional. Consumers are appreciating the craft that goes into producing these spirits and are willing to pay for that higher quality. Secondly, at £/£100+ the pricing may be similar to premium whiskies, but the consumption occasion is completely different. Instead of sipping and savouring like a whisky, it is consumed much more like vodka at higher energy occasions. The bottle doesn’t sit dusty on the back bar for too long and this type of consumption is driving volume growth.

“The bottle designs are also great and drive the “I want one of those” appeals. They are bottles that get people talking and you are proud to have on your table or your shelf.”

Supply is the biggest constraint and may be the only thing that could slow luxury Tequila’s amazing growth. All of these tequilas are produced using 100% Blue Webber Agave from Jalisco in Mexico. The plant takes 7-10 years to mature and with up to 3 years of barrel ageing before bottling, it’s not hard to see why there isn’t a short-term supply fix. This may actually work in luxury Tequila’s favour, as scarcity adds to demand and drives up the value.”

Don Julio 1942 Tequila was first distilled by Don Julio Estrada at the age of just 17 in 1942. This luxurious Tequila is aged for 30 months and has complex flavours with a note of tropical fruit. A Gold Medal winner at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila was also named one of the Top Trending Tequilas at the 2020 Drinks International Awards. Simply serve neat or pour over a few large cubes of ice.

Clase Azul Reposado is one of the smoothest and most iconic examples one can find. A 100% agave Tequila aged for at least 8 months, bottled in a beautiful, hand-painted Talavera carafe.

Tequila Komos represents the marriage of Mexican tradition and the Mediterranean lifestyle in a uniquely packaged line of tequilas. Created by industry veteran and master sommelier Richard Betts, Komos offers a personal vision of tequila.

Tequila Komos is produced from a Blanco base using agave from the highlands and lowlands of Tequila. The Blanco is then roasted in traditional volcanic stone ovens and the juice is fermented with native yeast and then double-distilled in pot stills. For the Reposado Rosa expression, the special Blanco base is rested for 65 days in French oak red wine barrels to age and soften as it evolves delicate flavours. The rich, unique rosé colour is naturally derived from grape skins, reminiscent of French rosé.

The Reposado Rosa is then left to rest and aerate, further softening and rounding the palate while imparting a slight impression of sweetness prior to bottling in their handmade iconic designed bottles. Each, is vitrified porcelain, allowing for zero absorption of water or bacteria. Hand dipped into a reactive glaze that changes when fired in the oven, meaning every bottle is a one-of-a-kind creation.

Other ultra-luxury, collectors’ tequilas include ReySol Anejo (£/$300), Gran Patron Burdeos (£/$500) and Asombroso Del Porto Extra Anejo (£/$1500)

Tequila is not quite the new Rolex.

Although Tequila Ley, who produces the £/$225000.925 offers a $3.5 million bottle made with over four 4 pounds of platinum.

Read the article on www.upscalelivingmag.com.