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AMERICAN MORNING

Minding Your Business: Rubbing Salt Into Tequila Bottlers' Wounds

Aired September 25, 2003 - 08:52   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Price of tequila could be going up and the U.S. liquor industry could wind up getting the worm on this deal.
Andy Serwer is here "Minding Your Business."

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: All right, this is an important news story,...

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Say it ain't so.

SERWER: ... because it concerns tequila, which is near and dear to my heart.

CAFFERTY: To your heart, yes.

SERWER: I -- you know, seriously.

HEMMER: You're a connoisseur, by the way, people don't realize that.

SERWER: Thanks to you, Bill, because -- yes, we'll get into that later.

Anyway, the tequila industry, this is interesting. Eighty percent of the tequila that comes into the United States from Mexico is shipped in bulk, OK, which is kind of disgusting. It's actually bottled here in the United States. The Mexican authorities are concerned about the quality of tequila. So what they want to do is have all the tequila back in Mexico and bottle it there. They say they're concerned about tequila quality, which to me is one of the biggest oxymorons in the history of civilization.

CAFFERTY: Plus, maybe then it would be -- maybe then it would be as good as the water down there.

HEMMER: Come on.

SERWER: All right. So anyway, what they're really all about here is trying to create jobs in Mexico. Of course the liquor industry in the United States is all up in arms about this because we're going to lose jobs here.

CAFFERTY: Sure.

SERWER: And most importantly, the price of tequila might go up. This weekend, I'm going to go down to my liquor store and start hoarding. Anyway, tequila...

HEMMER: Most importantly.

SERWER: Yes. Tequila is a big part of American culture, though, right?

CAFFERTY: True.

SERWER: I mean you've got movies, songs.

HEMMER: Cinco de Mayo.

SERWER: Yes. What you've got the four best -- what are your four best tequila songs? This is "Tequila Sunrise," remember this movie, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mel Gibson?

HEMMER: Sure.

COSTELLO: Yes, that was a great one. Yes.

SERWER: Michelle Pfeiffer caught between a two guys, a good guy and a bad guy. That goes back. That's a good one. And then we've got Jimmy Buffett,...

HEMMER: Sure.

SERWER: ... Margaritaville, the Parrotheads. A couple of -- that -- those are Parrotheads. Those people are all drunk on tequila right now. Right at that very moment. Also, other tequila songs, want to do them quickly, "Johnny Winner," "Cheap Tequila."

CAFFERTY: Right.

SERWER: And then we've got "Tequila Sunrise" by the Eagles.

CAFFERTY: Yes.

SERWER: And then your favorite.

CAFFERTY: "Tequila" by The champs.

SERWER: By The Champs, instrumental.

CAFFERTY: The first one, back when I was a wee lad.

COSTELLO: The Champs?

SERWER: Yes, that was the one that Pee Wee Herman used to dance around to, the tequila dance. Do you remember...

COSTELLO: I remember Pee Wee Herman, but not The Champs.

SERWER: Yes, all right, and then you yell tequila at the end of it, right?

CAFFERTY: Right. COSTELLO: Yes, OK, tequila yell.

SERWER: Right, yes, you got it, The Champs.

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