For better or for worse, the world celebrated Cinco de Mayo yesterday by drinking an ungodly amount of margaritas and tequila shots. But while the fun may be over (replaced by a head-splitting headache this morning), according to data from the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., Americans are learning to appreciate the wonders of agave more and more each year—and not just on the 5th of May.
As Business Insider notes, Americans spent $1.2 billion on tequila in 2005; 10 years later, that number has more than doubled to $2.3 billion. A whopping 14.8 million 9-liter cases of the liquor were sold in the U.S. last year alone.
Though the high-end mixology boom has allowed super-premium tequila to increase its volume by 651% since 2002 (accounting for 2.7 million 9-liter cases last year), the overall spike in consumption is due in part to how affordable the alcohol has become for average Americans.
"By offering both well-aged High End and Super Premium products, as well as affordable Value brands, tequila is accessible to all Americans," the Distilled Spirits Council wrote in its report. "One of the keys to Tequila’s U.S. growth has been distiller’s ability to offer a product for every budget and occasion."
It also doesn't hurt that the liquor is one of the healthiest alcohol choices available. Good tequila won't spike your blood sugar, is low in calories, and surprisingly low-risk when it comes to hangovers.
"Clear tequila made from 100 percent blue agave has fewer congeners than brown liquors that share its top-shelf perch," the New York Post wrote on Thursday. "Hence, milder hangovers for Cinco de Mayo celebrants — so long as they drink it straight and steer clear of sugary mixers."
Even so, if you were throwing back the cheap stuff on Cinco de Mayo and find yourself nursing a nasty hangover Friday morning, this 7-pound breakfast burrito might come in handy.
[via Business Insider]