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It’s the traditional toast that accompanies a shot of tequila, and whether you drink yours straight or chase it with a squeeze of lime, there’s no wrong way to drink it.
But data compiled by a website ahead of National Tequila Day indicates that regular tequila drinkers do have a preferred brand.
BetArizona.com utilized Google Trends and the alcohol news and culture website VinePair to determine what brands Americans trust in the tequila game, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of one brand.
Using VinePair’s list of most popular tequila brands of the year and seeing which brand people are searching for on Google, BetArizon.com found that Don Julio is the most popular tequila brand in 29 states, including California.
And Californians know their tequila. According to data from Statista, Californians consumed the most tequila in the nation in 2020, almost double that of Texas which landed second on the list.
Don Julio topped the list on the entire West Coast and Southwest, and took the top spot on many of the states in the southern U.S.
Casamigos, the tequila brand founded by actor George Clooney, had a clear grip on New England and the rest of the Northeastern states. In total, Casamigos was the most popular brand in 17 states.
Patron, the tequila of choice in mid-2000’s hip-hop music, claimed the top spot in two states: Wyoming and Ohio. And Alaskans appear to prefer the classic: Jose Cuervo. Hawaii was not included in the list due to a lack of data.
Despite being the most popular brands according to the analysis, the top-selling spirit list shakes (or stirs) out a bit differently. The best selling brands in 2020 were Jose Cuervo, Patron, Sauza, 1800 and Don Julio, in that order.
Tequila is made from distilling blue agave, and Mexicans have been making the beloved liquor since the 16th century when Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés arrived in Central America. Mexico is very protective of the traditional distilling methods and history. By law, only tequila distilled in the state of Jalisco, or in some parts of the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas, can call itself tequila. Anything else is mezcal.
The liquor has seen a recent surge in celebrity interest. Along with Clooney, Eva Longoria, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kendall Jenner, Nick Jonas and Michael Jordan all have business stakes in tequila brands. “Breaking Bad” co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston have their own mezcal label, which, as we now know, is not technically tequila.
But despite the endorsement of A-list actors and reality TV stars, it appears the traditional brands are still the go-to for most Americans. Don Julio has been making tequila since 1942. The company even has a Don Julio 1942 brand named after the year of its founding. Jose Cuervo was the first to ever hold a license to distill tequila — more than 200 years ago.
National Tequila Day is Sunday, July 24, according to National Day Calendar. The website suggests celebrating with a margarita or a paloma, but reminds those observing the holiday to celebrate responsibly.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the Mexican states in which tequila can be manufactured.