Meanwhile, Europe’s tequila market expands and California’s farmers eyeing agave as important new crop.
This past Wednesday, the nation celebrated National Margarita Day.
Personally, I am willing to celebrate that beverage on any day of the year.
That being said, the analysts at CNN decided to dilute the joys associated with tequila-induced bliss with climate crisis drama.
Something to consider as you search for happy hours to celebrate National Margarita Day: The delicious concoction’s main ingredient is threatened by changing weather and new strain on the agave plant’s vital pollinator – the bat.
…[S]cientists from around the world have made it clear that climate change-fueled water shortages will continue to put enormous pressure on food production. Wine and spirits, unfortunately, are not spared from that forecast. A 2019 study found that the climate crisis, coupled with overgrazing from cattle ranching and other human activities, may disrupt the distribution and cultivation of agave, the main ingredient of tequila.
While agave is a drought-tolerant plant that can thrive in hot weather with little to no water, Omanjana Goswami, a food and environment scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the life cycle of agave is too fragile to endure the major weather whiplash the climate crisis is generating – from extreme drought to deadly storm deluges like the one California just experienced.
If there is an agave shortage, the real explanation may turn out to be more supply-and-demand oriented. The European market for tequila is expanding.
Tequila, the king of Mexican liquors, is taking off in Europe. Export volumes to Spain jumped 90% last year, to France 73%, Britain 68% and Germany 60%, according to Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council, outpacing global growth of 23%.
The challenger – a favourite in North America – is a long way from making a dent in the historic European dominance of vodka, whisky, rum and gin. It’s gained a foothold, though, and is the fastest-growing spirit in the region, according to Jose Cuervo seller Proximo Spirits.
There’s a spiky snag, though.
European demand is deepening a shortage of agave, the prickly plant native to Mexico’s Jalisco region that’s used to make tequila.
These developments are inspiring California’s farmers, whose water supply has been throttled by Democratic eco-activist antics, to consider agave as a crop.
Many consider the Central Valley to be the breadbasket of the world, where expert farmers farm thousands of crops like citrus, grapes, figs, tomatoes and nuts on a commercial level. Unfortunately, climate change and drought have hit California hard in the last several years, and after constant battles over limited water use and frustrations over other political regulations, California farmers have had to shift gears and get creative.
…Central Valley farmers, after being forced to uproot thousands of acres’ worth of dry and dying crops due to the California water shortage, had a revelation. Realizing that tequila and mezcal are the fastest-growing spirits in the United States, California farm owners have taken their cue from Mexico’s experts and started planting their own drought-resistant agave. The plan is to create a whole new, never-before-tasted, unique-to-California agave spirit.
When I have my next margarita, I will toast to the ingenuity and endurance of California’s farmers.DONATE
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