With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon, what’s behind the bar at your local Mexican watering hole?

It’s undeniable that Mexican food and beverage culture has been a notable thread of the American food and beverage industry for generations. With the emergence of Mexican restaurant chains such as Taco Bell, Qdoba, and Chipotle coupled with the general proliferation of Tex-Mex cuisine, it’s become more likely you will have a taqueria or cantina of sorts in your neighborhood.

In fact, over 30 of our users across 17 different metro areas identify themselves as Mexican-style bars. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, we dug a little deeper into our data to see how these bars distinguish themselves, based on their ordering habits and general beverage program choices.

The following material aggregates a year’s worth of on-premise liquor and beer ordering data ending in March 2017. All figures represent percentages of orders from distributors in dollar terms.

Most-ordered spirits at Mexican bars, by type

It shouldn’t be any surprise that the Mexican spirits of tequila and mezcal would hold the top spots at Mexican-style bars. But, with tequila and mezcal holding nearly two-thirds of all spirit orders, it’s still interesting to see the extent of their popularity at these establishments. The remaining spirit orders are also unusually weighed towards cordials and liqueurs, which we will detail later on.

Most-ordered tequilas from Mexican bars

Digging deeper into the bulk of tequila we see at Mexican bars, we see additional deviations from industry averages. While Don Julio still holds a market share, we see that Patrón is disproportionately unpopular among these establishments, while Corazón and Maestro Dobel are disproportionately popular. The higher prevalence of the other brands coupled with a relatively more even footing between them demonstrates a higher demand for a healthy mix of tequilas at these establishments.

Most-ordered cordials and liqueurs from Mexican bars

As previously noted, there is a much higher aggregate preference for cordials and liqueur in Mexican bars. The high proportion of orders for this product category reflects the significance of cocktailing in Mexican bars’ beverage programs. Drilling down into the brand composition of the cordial ordering reveals something unsurprising: high amounts of orders for triple sec, driven by sales of margaritas and sangria at these establishments. The top five brands in this category are often featured as a common ingredient in these particular types of cocktails.

Most-ordered beer from Mexican bars

Cerveza (beer) is also a staple of Mexican beverage culture. It’s even coming to Taco Bell. And—no surprise again—Mexican beer heavily features in our list of the five most-ordered beer brands in Mexican bars. Still, the margin of Corona’s dominance among these establishments is startling to see; orders for the brand almost equal those of the next four highest-performing brands combined.

En Resumidas Cuentas (In Conclusion)

While many of our previous assumptions about this industry segment have been confirmed, our user data still revealed some interesting surprises for us concerning the preferences of Mexican-style bars. Was there anything you noticed that we didn’t observe? What surprised you? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to sign up for a free user account to get live updates of our data trends series.

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