Elon Musk has branched out from rockets and cars into booze — as Tesla has launched Tesla Tequila on its website today. If you have $250 burning a hole in your pocket, you can pick up your very own lightning-shaped bottle.
The original branding was Teslaquila, but that must have been jettisoned somewhere along the way. (Well, the idea did start as an April Fools’ Day joke.) Orders are limited to two bottles, and only people in some states can receive them because of “industry regulations.”
According to the marketing copy, the booze is “an exclusive, small-batch premium 100% de agave tequila añejo.” An añejo is typically aged from one to three years in oak; this one was aged for 15 months.
Tequila, like Champagne, is subject to strict denomination-of-origin rules; tequila must be manufactured in one of five Mexican states. It must also be made from blue agave, among other rules. (Mezcal, a similar drink, can be made from several varieties of agave.) According to the website, the product was produced by Nosotros Tequila, a California-based brand. On Nosotros Tequila’s website, it says its agave is sourced in Jalisco, one of the permitted states.
In 2018, Musk ran into some trouble with the Tequila Regulatory Council in Mexico (CRT), after he’d tweeted a “visual approximation” of a bottle. The problem had to do with a patent application that didn’t fit with the tequila denomination-of-origin rules. At the time, Reuters reported the CRT said that if Tesla wanted to produce a tequila, “it would have to associate itself with an authorized tequila producer, comply with certain standards and request authorization from Mexico’s Industrial Property Institute.”
Merch is normal for car companies — though it could be argued that alcohol is in poor taste. But Tesla won’t be liable if consumers drink and drive; besides, alcohol companies are probably more excited than anybody about self-driving cars. Tesla isn’t yet at full automation, though it did recently release a feature called “Full Self-Driving” in beta, catching regulators’ attention.