For the past centuries, tequila has been one of the most consumed spirits in North America. Most people drink it as shots, but it’s also a popular ingredient in cocktails. The market is enormous and there are many different types of tequila. As one of the most popular spirits in the US, it’s no wonder that many businesses buy tequila wholesale. In this article, we’ll share more on the topic of buying tequila in large quantities. This article is part of our series on the beverage industry. You can read other interesting posts like the ones about wholesale whiskey or juice from concentrate vs not from concentrate.
How Is Tequila Made
Tequila is distilled from the fermented juice of the agave plant. It’s grown mainly in a Mexican region called Tequila. The overall production process includes several steps.
- Planting and harvesting the agave. It takes between 7 and 10 years for agave to be suitable for harvesting. After harvesting, the leaves are removed and only the agave core is used for tequila distillation.
- Cooking and milling the agave. After the agave cores are harvested, they need to be cooked in large ovens. This converts the carbohydrates into fermented sugars. After the cooking is done, the soft and caramel-colored cores are shredded to extract their juice.
- Fermentation. The fermentation period lasts a few weeks. The agave juice ferments in wooden or stainless steel tanks. Some tequila producers add yeast while others rely on naturally occurring yeast.
- Distillation. The resulting low-alcohol fermented drink is further distilled in column stills or pot stills. Tequila usually is distilled at least twice.
- Aging, blending, and bottling. Tequila usually is left to age in oak barrels. However, brands that are in the lower price range usually are not left to age. In order to introduce new flavors or achieve consistency, distilleries might blend tequilas. The final product is then mixed with distilled water to achieve the desired alcohol content and bottled. Distilleries often sell tequila wholesale to suppliers or large brands like manufacturers of ready-to-drink cocktails.
Key takeaway: The production of tequila occurs only in a few regions of Mexico. Other spirits made from agave are called mezcal. Suppliers of tequila wholesale usually sell it to bars, nightclubs, liquor retailers, and stores. Exporters and manufacturers of ready-to-drink tequila cocktails will often partner directly with distilleries.
Different Types of Tequila
Based on their age and production process, there are several types of tequila. Distributors of wholesale wine and spirits offer a large variety in their catalogs as tequila is one of the most consumed liquors in the US. Let’s dive a little deeper into the main types of tequila.
- Tequila blanco. This unaged beverage is one of the most popular options. Its lower price makes it suitable for mixed drinks. Many distributors of tequila wholesale offer different brands of tequila blanco.
- Reposado. Tequila that is labeled as reposado is aged for at least two months. The aging process takes place in oak barrels. That makes the drink golden in color and adds more character to the spirit.
- Añejo. This type of tequila ages for at least one year. The aging process removes some of the strong agave flavor and introduces hotels of caramel and oak.
- Extra añejo. This premium beverage is aged for a minimum of three years. That makes its color brown. Extra añejo tequila is often compared to whiskey as it has a very complex flavor profile. This type of tequila is consumed neat. It can be found in specialized liquor stores or eCommerce stores that sell premium spirits.
- Joven. This is a blend of blanco and reposado tequilas. It has a golden coloring and a smoother taste than the cheaper tequila blanco.
- Mixto. Tequila might be produced with cane sugars as well. If the beverage is made from 51% blue agave and other sources like cane sugars, it’s called mixto tequila.
- 100% agave. Regulations state that tequilas made from only agave can be labeled as 100% agave. These spirits are of higher quality and fall under the premium category in the catalogs of wholesale liquor distributors.
What Businesses Buy Tequila Wholesale
Bars and Clubs
As tequila shots are probably the most popular way to drink the agave beverage, it’s no wonder that nightclubs and bars often buy tequila wholesale. Restaurants might also consider purchasing large amounts of tequila as it’s one of the main ingredients in many cocktails.
Both physical and online liquor stores offer a large variety of tequila brands. These businesses are likely to partner with wholesale drinks suppliers as they need to stock a wide range of spirits and alcohol products.
In addition to liquor stores, convenience stores and supermarkets also offer many tequila brands.
Tequila can be mixed in many ways. Hard seltzer producers often experiment and introduce new products. For example, they might buy wholesale energy drinks and tequila, mix them, and offer them as ready-to-drink beverages.
Attendees of music festivals or other large events often enjoy tequila shots. That’s why event organizers often partner with wholesale liquor suppliers in addition to working with soda wholesale distributors and wholesale water suppliers.
That’s true also for caterers and planners of small private events like weddings or corporate parties.
Companies that export tequila to other countries and continents might prefer to partner with tequila wholesale distributors instead of working directly with distilleries. The reason behind this is the fact that suppliers have large catalogs with many tequila brands.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tequila
Even though a lot of businesses buy tequila wholesale, some prefer to buy small retail quantities. You might ask yourself what are the advantages and disadvantages of buying tequila wholesale. We’ve answered that question as well as a few others in the paragraphs below.
What Are the Most Popular Tequila Cocktails?
Tequila is a very versatile spirit. It can be enjoyed neat or mixed with cocktails. Some of the most common cocktails are made with tequila.
- Margarita. Its ingredients are tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. This cocktail is served in a glass rimmed with salt.
- Tequila Sunrise. Mixing tequila with orange juice and grenadine results in a sweet and slightly citrusy cocktail.
- Paloma. Another cocktail that’s served in a salt rim glass. It combines tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. This is one of the preferred summer cocktails for many people.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying Tequila Wholesale?
The main benefit of buying tequila wholesale is that it comes at a lower wholesale price per unit. Therefore, businesses that use a lot of tequila often find suppliers that sell the beverage. Some manufacturers of hard seltzers work directly with manufacturers. They buy bulk juice and tequila wholesale and make ready-to-drink cocktails like Tequila Sunrise.
One of the drawbacks to buying large quantities of tequila is that businesses might overstock the drink. That’s especially true for restaurants that don’t serve a lot of cocktails or neat tequila. Instead, it might be more optimal for these establishments to use their storage space for things like wholesale dairy or wholesale meat.
Is Tequila Produced Outside of Mexico?
Tequila is produced exclusively in certain regions in Mexico. Similar to what we mentioned in our article about wholesale champagne, the name "tequila" as well as the spirit’s production methods are protected by Mexican laws. However, there are other spirits produced by agave that are similar to tequila like mezcal. Mezcal is produced in Mexico and other countries around the world.