In 2000, in response to dire warnings that the world would soon face a tequila shortage, The New York Times wrote an article headlined “The ‘Tequila Crisis’: Take It With a Grain of Salt,” noting that a “temporary shortage of blue agave, the gigantic lily from which the liquor is made, forced a few small distilleries to close their doors,” but that no one would have to give up his Margarita just yet.
At that time, Jose Luis Sanchez, vice president of the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry in Mexico was quoted as saying: ”There is no such thing as this alleged crisis.”
Now, in 2018, we’re once again being bombarded with tequila hysteria.
This time, however, some are saying that the shortage may be felt well beyond small distributors.
Reuters reported:”The price of Agave tequilana, the blue-tinged, spikey-leaved succulent used to make the alcoholic drink, has risen six-fold in the past two years, squeezing smaller distillers’ margins and leading to concerns that shortages could hit even the larger players.”
The article noted that the 17.7 million blue agaves planted in 2011 in Mexico for use in 2018 won’t come near to meeting the 42 million the industry requires to supply 140 registered companies. It said those figures come from the Tequila Regulatory Council and the National Tequila Industry Chamber.
What or whom is to blame? Some say global demand for the spirit makes it a matter of supply and demand.
If this news has put your in the mood for a Margarita, check out the top 10 in New Orleans as chosen by our readers in 2017.