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My love for Mexican alcohol doesn’t just stop at beer; it goes on to include that sweet nectar of the gods that is tequila. Plastic bottle tequila is the fine line between me being a standup, outstanding member of society and being a drunken lunatic. Tequila makes backflips look easy and felonies look like misdemeanors your dad can get you out of. Side note: no matter how good your dad’s lawyer is, he can’t get you off the hook for trying to free the Bengal tigers at the Central Park Zoo. Thanks for that one, Juárez.
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve got a problem on our hands. Actually, it isn’t just a problem; it’s more like an epidemic.
The world is facing a global tequila shortage, and we could be feeling the effects very soon.
Tequila producers in Jalisco, the heartland of Mexico’s signature spirit, are struggling to deal with a lack of blue agave, the plant from which tequila is made.
In a situation like this, it’s important everyone remain calm. Nobody panic. Okay, everybody panic. Someone better get FEMA on the phone immediately. Maybe they can send disaster relief or something.
What? How? Why? How could this happen? Who lets this happen?
The 18 million blue agaves planted in 2011 and ready for harvest now come nowhere near the estimated 42 million needed to satisfy this year’s demand, which 140 companies registered by the Tequila Regulatory Council are trying to meet.
In other words, we’re drinking too damn much of the stuff.
Esquire, are you telling me that I’m drinking too much? What are you, Alcoholics Anonymous? My girlfriend? My stepmother? Some weird combination of the three? I know my limits and I’ll drink as much as I please, got it?
According to Reuters, agave prices have risen six-fold—from 3.8 pesos per kilo to 22—over the past two years, while demand from the United States and Japan has skyrocketed. (The United States alone is responsible for over 80 percent of Mexico’s tequila exports.) And as prices have risen, so has theft—15,000 plants were estimated to have been stolen in 2017.
Who the hell is stealing tequila plants? Look, I’ve stolen a lot of things in my life: money, drugs, the hearts of many sorority women, but I never thought to myself, “Hmmm, maybe I should commit grand theft agave.”
No word yet if the shortage will end by Cinco de Mayo. Let’s all hope for the best, though..
Image via Shutterstock