By Jennifer McGraw

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Here’s a shot of bad news.

We could be on the verge of a global tequila shortage so shake those margaritas while you still can.

“It would be a sad world. It would be a sad world without tequila,” said Tony Escamilla, the manager at Azul’s Tequila Bar in Midtown. “We’re a tequila bar, and without tequila, we are really just a bar.”

He said it’s this key ingredient that makes the perfect drink.

“Agave with a little bit of lime,” Escamilla added.

Suppliers can’t keep up with the demand.

Tequila is made out of the plant agave, which needs time to age.

“There wasn’t enough supply for demand,” said Jason Perez, a tequila importer. “You have to grow it for seven years in order to come up with good tequila.”

Then there’s still a process.

“They take the leaves cut it press it and cook it, the juice that comes from there becomes tequila,” said Miguel Aranda.

Aranda imports tequila, and says growers are being forced to use young, immature agave plants. Not only do they produce less tequila, the early harvesting means the shortage will only worsen as time goes by and the prices could spike.

“It will go tremendously high up in price. For a good margarita it can go up to $50 to $60 with any kind of shortage,” said Albert Trummer, a bar owner.

But that doesn’t mean everyone will say, hold the salt.

Escamilla says tequila has more benefits than one.

“Tequila won’t solve your problems, but it will make you forget them,” he said.

Farmers said in the last few years they have been planting millions of agave plants and by 2024, tequila will be back in full supply.


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