Agave fields
Spirits & Liqueurs Tequila & Mezcal

All About Agave

From expert-recommended essential bottles of tequila and mezcal to the story of the tequila boom told by the bar pros who fueled it, this is our guide to the current world of agave.

In the world of spirits, agave holds a very special place. The many and varied distillates produced from this unique natural resource have contributed a great deal to our collective drinking experience. From their origin as ceremonial beverages in ancient Mexico—a use that continues in the current day—to their contemporary status as premium orders at the highest-end bars, agave spirits have enhanced our cultural experiences in countless ways.

Agave plant illo / Laura Sant

Tequila’s unprecedented ascent over the past several decades, and its current status as the fastest-growing spirit category, represent a double-edged sword for the spirit. In our coverage, we explore how that boom occurred and what the steep and continuous rise in popularity means for the current state—and future—of tequila production. We talk with some of the most notable and knowledgeable industry professionals and category experts to provide an insider's view of what has transpired in the tequila world over the past several decades.

There are very real challenges within the agave-spirit category that are playing out before us, many of which are shrouded in marketing overlay. We aim to inspire our readers to think and look deeper when exploring tequila, mezcal, and other agave distillates.

Mezcal regions map / Laura Sant

We certainly can’t solve the many threats facing the agave-spirit industry, but we as consumers and bar professionals have a responsibility to make educated decisions when making choices about what bottles to buy and which brands to support with our wallets. To that end, we are also providing resources to help you make informed choices when navigating the shelves of your liquor store or the back bar of your favorite drinks establishment.

Even within the world of cocktails, sustainability issues are an increasingly important topic. Bar professionals offer their insights on the ways to approach making a lower-waste Margarita, offering techniques that can be applied to a number of other drinks as well.

Above all, we aim to celebrate agave and share our passion for its distillates with you. After all, enjoyment of a spirit increases when your knowledge of it deepens. Join us in raising a glass to the history and future of this cherished spirit.