Monday is designated as National Tequila Day. But lately, tequila has had its day regularly in the United States
The spirit, made from the Weber blue agave plant in certain parts of Mexico, has been on the rise in recent years, with U.S. sales up 7.3% in 2022, and up 6% so far this year, according to Bump Williams Consulting of Shelton, Conn., which serves the alcohol industry and uses NielsenIQ data.
Canned cocktails like Jose Cuervo Sparkling Margaritas and tequila-infused seltzers from popular brands like High Noon and Topo Chico have also become the latest go-to in the growing ready-to-drink category.
So why not celebrate with a National Tequila Day, even if the date has no historical significance.
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“A great handmade margarita, it’s the best drink on the planet”
If there’s a National Tequila Day parade, well, its grand marshal would probably be Sammy Hagar.
The Red Rocker and one-time Van Halen frontman founded Cabo Wabo tequila in the late ’90s and sold it to the Campari Group for nearly $100 million a decade later. Then, in 2017, Hagar brought to market Santo Mezquila, an 80-proof blend of mezcal and tequila (tequila is actually a type of mezcal made from blue agave).
Since then, Hagar has expanded the Santo lineup with a blanco tequila in 2019, then two years later, a reposado aged four to five months in American oak bourbon barrels. He and partner celebrity chef Guy Fieri also just launched a 24-month-old Santo Tequila Añejo ($74.98).
Tequila has “grown so big because so many people can tolerate it now,” Hagar told USA TODAY. And there’s the margarita, of course. “A great handmade margarita, it’s the best drink on the planet.”
The super-hot premium tequila trend has been fueled in part by celebrity brands, which Hagar says are driving consumers to try tequila.
He says some brands use additives like sugar and coconut flavor “to make it taste better. … We make real tequila and it should be additive-free.” Consumers’ palates are changing, and that is driving the thirst for tequila – and quality will ultimately win out, he says. “But everybody has to start somewhere,” Hagar said.
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For your National Tequila Day, here are some deals, recipes and drinks to try.
Casa Dragone’s free shipping on National Tequila Day
For National Tequila Day, get free shipping with the code DRAGONES at casadragones.com.
Austin-headquartered Tex-Mex restaurant chain Chuy’s has drink specials all Monday, including $5 top-shelf tequila, $1 floats to top off your drink, a limited-time frozen raspberry margarita and $5 chips ‘n’ dips from 6 p.m. 15.00 to 18.00
TGI Fridays’ Dragon Fruit Margarita, plus $5 Tequila Sunrise
Pop into your favorite TGI Fridays for some special tequila cocktails, including a Dragon Fruit Margarita, or opt for a $4 Tequila Sunrise. There is also a selection of other $4 cocktails, $2 beers and $5 wines. And when you dine in, you can get $3 off any appetizer and get free chips and salsa.
Dad Water: A new way to enjoy tequila
One of the latest ready-to-drink cocktails is Dad Water, from the Indiana startup that launched Mom Water, a line of non-carbonated fruity vodka drinks in 2019. Dad Water comes in several flavors: Lime & Tequila, Grapefruit & Tequila, Blood Orange & Tequila, and Pineapple Jalapeno & Tequila. Each 12-ounce can ($19.99, 8-can variety pack) weighs in at 5.25 percent alcohol by volume, 100 calories with no carbonation, carbs or sugar.
guzman and gomez
You can get $3 frozen margaritas all Monday at the three Illinois restaurants.
The boat cellar
Keep the tequila celebration going into the week at La Barca Cantina, the Mexican restaurant in New York City. Get $10 margaritas and half off tequila flights Tuesday through Thursday this week. Cruise starts at 16.00, 18.00 and 20.00
Macay’s margarita deal for National Tequila Day
The Arizona-based restaurant chain, which claims to have founded the chimichanga, has $7 margarita flights on Monday.
Margaritas is extending its National Tequila Day celebration all week
If you can’t celebrate Monday, Margaritas has you covered until Sunday with $2 upgrades to Casamigos Blanco tequila—that’s the brand George Clooney and friends sold in 2017 for up to $1 billion. Haven’t you tried all the tequilas of Casamigos? Margaritas have $16 tequila flights as a special as well.
MARGS: Another ready-to-drink margarita option
A fairly new line of canned cocktails, MARGS ($12.99, four-pack) offers only natural base ingredients: premium tequila, triple sec, sparkling water and 5-6 grams of cane sugar. Margarita flavors include classic, mango, mezcal, spicy and coconut.
Naked Taco is pouring $8.88 margaritas for National Tequila Day
The South Florida restaurants will be pouring $8.88 margaritas on Monday and Tuesday. That’s in addition to daily happy hour sessions from 3-6pm and all-day Taco Tuesday deals.
On the border
The Dallas-headquartered Mexican casual dining chain serves $5.99 house margaritas and $9.99 Marky Margs, made with “Marky Marg,” featuring Mark Wahlberg’s Flecha Azul Tequila. Also available: $1.29 Meltdowns (a shot of your favorite tequila or liqueur added to your drink, plus ½ off appetizers all day.
Social Taco has a margarita special for National Tequila Day
Get a margarita made your way — house, spicy or frozen — for $6 all day Monday at the East Peoria, Illinois, restaurant.
Someburros has half off margaritas for National Tequila Day
On Monday, this Arizona restaurant chain has half off all margaritas, including its limited-time mango margarita.
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Tacodeli’s Canned Tequila Cocktail Special
Get a bucket of Epic Western canned tequila cocktails, a $50 value for $35, at this regional Texas restaurant chain.
Adam Levine’s Calirosa tequila ‘Let’s Go Party, Barbie’ cocktail
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, his wife Behati Prinsloo invested in the Real family distillery in Jalisco, Mexico and brought to market Calirosa tequilas, which are aged in California red wine barrels. Here is a timely recipe from the distillery.
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Sammy Hagar tells you how to taste tequila, improve your margarita
The first time you taste a tequila, “I like to put a little touch of salt on the end of my tongue … just to clear the palate, because if you’ve been chewing gum or you’ve had pizza or something. Unless you’ve had chips and salsa, which is cool. Then you don’t need it,” Hagar said. “So you can really taste the tequila. Salt first and I’ll never do it again. I like the salt on a margarita, but not much.”
A tip to change up your margarita: Always use a blanco tequila. And try adding a splash of tangerine juice to your margarita shaker or a slice of orange peel. And of course some Santo Mezquila. “Mezcal goes much better with orange, in my opinion, than lime,” says Hagar, who also has Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum and Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail canned cocktails.
Cazadores Café coffee liqueur offers a tequila alternative
Cazadores Café has just arrived in stores and is a tequila-based coffee liqueur made with Cazadores Blanco tequila, coffee and agave nectar. It can be sipped straight over ice or in cocktails such as an espresso martini.
Herradura Ultra’s Sandia Fresca made with fresh watermelon juice
Here’s a National Tequila Day cocktail that mixes something old and something fresh. Sandia Fresca is made with Herradura Ultra, an añejo tequila aged up to four years, and freshly squeezed watermelon juice.
- 2 parts Tequila Herradura
- 1 part fresh watermelon juice
- ½ young mezcal
- ½ fresh lime juice
- ¼ part agave nectar
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice to chill. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with a watermelon rind.
Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila makes cocktails with ReserveBar
Kendall Jenner and her mom, Kris Jenner, recently posted a cocktail-making video in preparation for National Tequila Day, creating new twists on cocktails—Cosmopolitan, Tom Collins, and Old Fashioned—using Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila. Limited edition cocktail sets are available at ReserveBar.com.
If you can’t get a cocktail kit, here’s a recipe from 818 Tequila to try your own reimagining of a classic cocktail:
818 Tequila Cosmopolitan
- 1.5 oz 818 Tequila Blanco
- 0.75 ounce orange liqueur
- 0.75 ounce Cheeky Lime Juice
- 0.5 ounce Cheeky Cranberry Syrup
Pour tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and cranberry syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lime.
LeBron James and co. have a drink recipe for National Tequila Day
Since hitting the market in 2020, Lobos 1707 Tequila has gained some big name partners, including LeBron James, Drake, Lindsay Vonn, Issa Rae, Draymond Green and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Here is a recipe for Lobos 1707 Tequila: “Lobos Colada”
- 2oz Lobos 1707 Tequila, Young
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz pineapple juice
- 4 oz coconut water
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake for 10 seconds, fill a glass with pebbles or crushed ice, pour into a glass with ice, garnish with grated nutmeg, pineapple leaf and pineapple slice (dried or fresh).
Dwayne Johnson’s Teremana tequila
The “Black Adam” actor started Teremana in 2020. The brand released this Mango Margarita supplement a few days ago.
Michael Jordan’s Cincoro Tequila paloma spritz recipe
The paloma is often overlooked in favor of the more popular margarita. But Cincoro Tequila, the premium tequila brand launched in 2019 by Michael Jordan, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeannie Buss and several other NBA executives, is delivering the assist on National Tequila Day.
Cincoro Paloma Spritz
- 1.5oz Cincoro Blanco
- 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- 0.5oz Aperol
- 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 oz pink grapefruit soda
- Top with Prosecco
Combine the first five ingredients, stir and serve over ice in a long-stemmed wine glass. Top with prosecco and garnish with an orange peel or grapefruit slice.
JAJA Tequila and Gopuff Delivery team up for a Taquito rita
Gopuff delivery and JAJA Tequila have teamed up for an over-the-top margarita called the Taquito-rita, made with Delimex Taquitos. You can have the ingredients delivered. If you’re in New York, you can order the drink at the Refinery Rooftop from 5-7pm ET. If you want to be an amateur mixologist and try this at home, you can find the recipe, which includes whipped cream, here.
1800 Tequila Spicy Ranch Water recipe
- 1.5oz 1800 Cucumber & Jalapeño Tequila
- 3 oz soda water
- Garnish: Tajin Rim, Lime Wheel, Jalapeño Slice
Pour 1.5 oz of 1800 Cucumber & Jalapeño Tequila into a tajin rimmed Collins glass. Fill the glass with ice and top with soda. Stir quickly to incorporate the ingredients. Garnish with a lime wheel and jalapeño slice.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
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