Tequila is expected to be the top-selling spirit of 2023. And whether or not you’re a Mexican distilled beverage or not, it’s having a moment.

To find out more, Cheddar News spoke to Kathy Parker, Bacardi Grey Goose Vodka and Patron Tequila president and global chief marketing officer. She talked about the handcrafted nature of Patron, as well as tips to get some good luck while drinking the beverage.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Data from Allied Market Research is predicting tequila will outsell every single spirit category in 2023. What is fueling the growth? 
The popularity of tequila can be attributed to a number of factors but as the category continues to increase in popularity, we are seeing consumers take a closer look at the ingredients and production process that goes into the tequila they are drinking.

Since the brand's inception, PATRÓN is one of the few tequila brands that has remained dedicated to a traditional, handcrafted production process. We make tequila in the very best way - by hand and in small batches using only three natural ingredients agave, water and yeast - and our people are really proud of that
The "Our Hands" campaign highlights the process of making PATRÓN. What goes into the process of handcrafting tequila? 
At PATRÓN, we start by selecting the highest-quality Weber Blue Agave, that means the sweetest agave achieved after about seven years of growth). After that, we cook it for at least three days in brick ovens, then we crush the agave using the tahona method. In fact, PATRÓN is the leading producer of Tahona-based tequila in the world!
Finally, we ferment the agave and then distill using small batch copper pot stills.

From hand-harvesting the highest-quality 10 percent % Weber Blue Agave, to the traditional, time-honored distillation process and individual labeling, numbering, and inspection of each bottle, PATRÓN Tequila is crafted with meticulous precision and care and in our new film, we wanted to celebrate the passionate hands that craft every bottle of PATRÓN. 
What ingredients go into PATRÓN?
We make our tequila at Hacienda PATRÓN in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico because this area is known for its high-quality agave. With tequila, the best flavor develops slowly and naturally. That’s why from the start we’ve made tequila the hard way, never taking shortcuts and using only high-quality raw ingredients to develop deep, complex flavors. At PATRÓN, we only use three ingredients — agave, water and yeast — and we never use additives to alter the aroma, flavor, texture or color. 
What are some of the best ways to have tequila in a cocktail this winter?

The PATRÓN Poinsettia Smash is one of my all-time favorite cocktails to sip and serve throughout the winter months! The PATRÓN Silver, which is made with 100% natural ingredients, really shines in this drink and creates a balanced flavor that's beautifully complimented with flavors of cranberry, sherry, and cinnamon for a simple, yet perfect sip.

2 oz Patrón Silver
.5 oz Fino Sherry
5 Fresh cranberries (or .5 oz of cranberry jelly)
.5 oz Simple syrup (omit if using jelly)
.5 Lemon + Cinnamon stick & lemon wheel for garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
Double strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon wheel.
Any good luck routines involving tequila that we should adopt? 
The tequila toast we’ve adopted in our family -- and one that’s a cultural tradition for celebrations in Mexico -- is arriba (glasses up), abajo (glasses down), al centro (glasses to the front to wish good health to everyone participating in the toast), y pa’ dentro (taste your drink!).