America loves Fireball. The cinnamon whiskey’s sales jumped from just under $2 million for bottles in 2011 to $61 million in 2013 (not including drinks sold in bars). The drink has “scorched its way into the top-10 most sold liquors in the U.S.,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
So it makes perfect sense that Sazerac, the makers of Fireball, are unleashing a new shot-focused product. Enter Tijuana Sweet Heat, a tequila liqueur that takes a gold tequila and mixes it with agave nectar at an ABV below traditional tequila (35% or 70 proof versus 40%). As drinkspirits.com points out, “its bottle shape is absolutely designed to live on top of a chill shot machine.”
Sazerac knows that its Millennial market wants something sweet and easy to shoot, with enough alcohol to get you hammed. Plus, the company knows that Millennials might start seeing Fireball as too mainstream to be cool.
Tequila connoisseurs, on the other hand, might feel that this watered-down, sugary tequila is an abomination.
— Derek Brown (@betterdrinking) March 23, 2015
Drink Spirits calls Tijuana Sweet Heat “a clear 74 point spirit,” noting that it’s “way too sweet, covering up the fantastic flavors that tequila brings to the equation, and being under proofed.”
Sazerac is rolling out Tijuana Sweet Heat in select markets to begin with; Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri will get the liqueur in March, New Jersey and Wisconsin in April, and Texas in May. There’s no word on the exact date that Tijuana Sweet Heat will go national, but Drink Spirits says, “we expect if it does well in the initial markets, it should be rolling nationally in June.” Whether you’re excited about Tijuana Sweet Heat coming to your town, or it makes you want to crawl underneath the bar and hide, probably depends on your age and outlook on boozing.