The number one rum in the world is more than one brand, and today it was announced that it’s adding another heavy-hitter in the market, Patron tequila. Patron is the number one tequila with U.S. sales of $1.6 billion in 2016, according to Euromonitor, a market research firm. The partnership between the two brands is nothing new, with Bacardi owning roughly 25% of Patron since 2008. With this move, Bacardi becomes the leader in the super-premium segment in the U.S.

The popularity of tequila

This Mexican spirit is the fastest growing category in the market. In 2017, Diageo purchased George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila for one billion dollars.

Tequila in America is becoming the most sought-after drink with investors. The super-premium tequila jumped over 700% from 2002 to 2016, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. The move to buy Patron makes Bacardi a real player when compared with other major players like Pernod Ricard, Diageo, and Beam Global. Patron will be purchased for a whopping $5.1 billion, giving Bacardi full ownership of the tequila. Patron’s founder -- John Paul DeJoria -- will remain as the brand’s ambassador.

More than tequila, Bacardi gains other assets

Patron Spirits is more than their prized tequila, it also has Pyrat rum and distributes Ultimat vodka. Bacardi as a whole consists of Bacardi rum, Grey Goose, D’usse Cognac, Bombay Sapphire gin, Dewar’s whiskey, Martini, and Cazadores and Corzo. In other news, D'usse cognac, famous for its leading man, Jay-Z, just partnered up with the popular party series, Hennypalooza, which is now Dussepalooza.

This new partnership will start in Los Angeles during the NBA's all-star weekend.

The Tequila takeover will soon come

The thirst for tequila is increasing and it’s evident by the recent moves. Tequila is even making a play for the whiskey and dark liquor segment with its popularity of “sipping tequilas” reposado, anejo, and extra anejo. According to Frank Coleman the senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council, “Adult consumers are very interested in high-end super-premium tequilas for sipping as much as cocktails.”

The future for Bacardi

Bacardi, which dates back 156 years to its founding in Cuba, is still controlled by the Bacardi family. The Cuban-born, Puerto Rican-raised company continues to diversify into certain categories including aged (batch strength) bourbons and whiskeys, and consumers are spending more on these commodities as well. Bacardi is currently the fifth-largest spirits company in the U.S. by value, jumping to second place when the deal goes through.