High Spirits

After absinthe, sake-tinis and soy-based vodkas, what's the next big thing in spirits going to be? Quite possibly tequila—but not the paint-stripping firewater that gave you no end of college hangovers. Instead, look for upmarket tequilas better suited to sophisticated, postprandial sipping rather than dilution with margarita mix. There's certainly a renewed consumer interest in premium brands of the spirit. According to the Distilled Spirits Council in the U.S., sales by volume of premium tequila jumped by a total of over 50% in 2003 and 2004—a trend some attribute to increased acceptance of, and appreciation for, Hispanic and Mexican cultures among...

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