So what's taking vodka's place? If a rising number of celebrity-branded labels and entrepreneurial ventures are to be trusted, it's that liquor that used to remind you of "that bad night in college": tequila. Wilson explains the trend with some interesting anecdotes:
A number of vodka innovators have branched out to tequila. Eurowinegate, the Cognac, France-based maker that (along with Diageo and partner P. Diddy) created Ciroc vodka, is poised to launch an excellent tequila called Excellia, in partnership with distiller Carlos Camarena of El Tesoro. Excellia will be finished in Sauternes and cognac barrels.The rise in tequila buzz also appears to be directly tied to HBO's heavily-promoted seventh season of Entourage. The venerable show—which featured a multi-episode plot arc that centers on Turtle trying to convince Vince to become a high-end tequila spokesman—kick-started a very real demand for the start-up liquor company Avion:
"It's been a mixed bag of publicity," said Yasemin Altintas, Avion's spokeswoman. "Our biggest issue has been the separation of fact and fiction." Of course, it also has meant that the product is hitting the shelves in multiple states with unbelievable name recognition only 40 days after launch, a situation almost unheard-of for a small start-up brand.