BIT Blog

Whiskey or Tequila?

Those Millennials have done it again. Obsessed with their pop culture and electronics, Millennials are proving to be a trend altering generation. Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the next generation, are a generation pumped up on the internet, designer parties and being the next big thing. They desire to live like the stars do, or at least take a photo that makes it seem that way. And living like a star means only the best of the best for what you’re drinking at the bar that night. And it seems that young adults in Mexico are choosing whiskey for that aspiration.

For a very long time, tequila and mezcal dominated the liquor field in Mexico. Home to the agave plant, Mexico has been deemed the official home for all things tequila. Mexicans have been enjoying the liquored treats of the agave plant for a very long time. But a recent study has shown whiskey growing in exponential popularity in Mexico. American owned company, Brown Foreman, just recently boasted that Mexico has risen to be Jack Daniel’s top market for sales. Euromonitor International reported that by 2015 consumption of whiskey in Mexico had grown 86% from the year 2010 while tequila and mescal only increased by a measly 15.1 percent in the same time. Tequila sales still trump whiskey sales over all but that may not be for much longer if the trend continues.

Either more millennials are going out than their older counterparts or all the tequila sales are being hidden in Mexico. Mark Strobel, a research analyst at Euromonitor International concludes that the growing popularity of whiskey amongst younger adults in Mexico comes from the idea that “the consumption of this drink is an aspirational position of status and sophistication, it is generally more expensive than tequila but there is also more variety of economic whiskey “. The analyst at Euromonitor has already projected whiskey sales increase by 8.5 percent, while tequila and mezcal push a smaller 3 percent.

We did a little of our own research and asked people in the town of San Miguel, GTO Mexico , a town with a statistically older population vs. Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico, a town flooded with college students and a generally younger aged population. More residents of SMA preferred Tequila while Guanajuato had a wider range of presences leaving no certain choice strikingly dominant to another. But it seemed that adults closer to the millennial generation were not as keen on drinking tequila.

Apparently whiskey has that something special that younger drinkers desire for their image - too bad the hangovers are twice as bad compared to tequila. But hey, they are Millennial, they’ll learn the hard way just like we did. Tequila may be losing the title of Mexico’s most consumed liquor, but we don't mind. Just more agave for us.



Iguanas on Independence Day

Walking out of my friend Carrie’s house, just on the outskirts of downtown, tequila (illegally) in hand, I smelled the aroma of fresh tortillas and roasting meat floating through the air. We were heading downtown to immerse ourselves in the festivities, including the swarm of half-dressed, underage kids from Mexico City (it is the biggest city in the world, you know.)

Turning the corner out of Colonia Guadalupe onto Calzada de La Luz, we were greeted by a group of mounted horses, people dressed in all white with red sashes and enormous torches. Yes torches, though at this point, they were unlit. It was the start of the parade. Tequila had done us right, leading us to just the right moment - the re-enactment of Miguel Hidalgo’s revolution march, otherwise known as El Grito (The Liberty Yell.)

They lit the ceremonial cloth wrapped sticks and chanted, led by a man posing as Miguel Hidalgo, “Viva Mexico!”  Many streets were closed and we followed their flickering lights all the way down to the Jardin, our town square, where enormous sculptures made of fireworks towered above us looking like carnival pinwheels. The Parrochia, the massive cathedral and un-missable icon of San Miguel, was lit up like a Christmas tree. Just before crossing into what is officially centro, the police kindly asked me if I could finish my plastic cup of tequila before entering (significantly nicer than TSA agent in the airport, I might add.)

So I did. Encircling the town square, festive items like flags, tri-colored sombreros, horns and tee-shirts sat alongside the regular vending stalls’ gum and soda. Nearly everyone had on red, white and green, and many more had flags painted on their faces. Fireworks ensued, and we stood shoulder to shoulder with our paisanos (countrymen), as the brilliant light exploded above us, banners of Miguel Hidalgo sparkling in its reflection.

In honor of revolution, I raise my caballito to liberty, to Mexico and to tequila. 

Mexicans Are Staying in Mexico


We like Mexico. In fact, I bet if you lived here you’d like it too (not that I’m inviting you to visit, mind you. I have a really tiny sofa.) The funny thing is that the United States is convinced that Mexican people don’t like Mexico, or at least don’t want to stay here. However recent statistics have turned that argument on its head. “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped,” Mr. Massey, co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, recently said.  “For the first time in sixty years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.”

So not only have Mexicans stopped heading to the states, some of the ones who are there are coming back. Despite the immigration smack-down, the bum economy and hapless shootouts at the border, the US government still thought millions would cross the border illegally. Considering the numbers fallen from 525,000 annually in 2000-04 to 100,000 in 2010, I would go ahead and call them wrong. Why go north? What’s the incentive (we’ve got the tequila right here)? Mexicans are more educated, making the risk (and even the pay) not quite worth it. Let’s face it. The US isn’t the cash cow it once was. In an interview with the New York Times Angel Orozco who is currently earning his degree in industrial engineering at the new technological institute in Jalisco, Mexico, said, “I’m not going to go to the States because I’m more concerned with my studies.” 

If you’d like more info on this subject, take a look at the New York Times article, “Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North,” or the New York Post article, “What if the Mexicans stop coming?”

For quite some time Mexico has been seen as a country riddled with poverty while also a perfect vacation spot for the natural beauty of its beaches and colonial towns and its cheap …well, everything. However, over the last 10 years Mexico has been on the up and up with and significantly larger middle class. The last Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, said, “On the economic front, our country is doing well. Mexico is a nation that is advancing and advancing with confidence in its future.”