New York Post and others - Is tequila on the rocks? The next time you order a margarita, you might be holding back more than the salted rim. Extreme weather during the past few years in Mexico and other areas of the world has hurt crop production of the base and main ingredient in tequila, according to Everstream Analytics’ chief meteorologist Jon Davis.
“At a time when large agave crops are needed to meet demand, the extreme weather in Mexico is increasing the problems and the potential for scarcity of the product,” Davis said. The succulent crop can withstand a great deal of stress from drought.However, when conditions are this extreme, even a crop like agave suffers.
The agave crop has been grown for centuries in tropical regions of the world but native to Mexico. When the agave is harvested, the sap is extracted and used to produce pulque, which is the base ingredient for mezcal (or tequila).
The largest agave producer in the world is Mexico, and it is grown across most of the country, except for the country’s northwest states. Global demand for tequila has been on the high side during the past few years, which has increased the need for large agave harvests to fulfill demand.
“Precipitation totals across much of the country have been less than 25% of normal with large sections having totals less than 10% and 5% of normal,” Davis said. “These are extremely low, and in many cases, record-setting over this long of a period – two and half months.”
The exception to the dryness has been in the northwest sections of the country, like in Baja California, which is not major producing areas for agave in Mexico.
Davis said the extreme dryness has been accompanied by well-above-normal winter temperatures, especially in one southern Mexico town, which is a major agave growing area.
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