Every day the cult of personality around Elon Musk seems to be getting stronger and stronger. He’s basically been playing Geppetto with the price of Bitcoin, saying that Tesla would accept the cryptocurrency as payment and then retracting that statement not long after. One of his tweets containing the misspelled word “stonks” has spread like wildfire across the internet. And recently, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, of which Musk is the CEO, released a small-batch limited edition run of tequila that sold out in a day, thus further proving that Elon Musk could sell water to a drowning man.
Moving into the hard liquor market seemed like a departure from Elon Musk’s normal activities, which include building spacecrafts, massive underground tunnels, and luxury electric vehicles. However, after posting an April Fools’ joke on Twitter that referred to “Teslaquila” and received a ton of engagement, Musk decided to go ahead and make this fake product a reality. Due to certain restrictions in the tequila industry, the name “Teslaquila” wouldn’t fly, and thus Tesla Tequila was born.
If you’ve ever met anyone who owns a Tesla, you’re probably aware that people basically consider their vehicles as the greatest thing since sliced bread and often laud Elon Musk as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. So it’s no surprise that when Tesla Tequila actually came on the market, it sold out in a single day. Now, empty bottles of Tesla Tequila are trading hands on the internet at unthinkable prices and people are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see if there will be another run of the booze in 2021.
Let’s take a look at the history of Tesla Tequila and if we can expect any new bottles of it to come on the market anytime soon.
What Was Wrong With “Teslaquila”?
Originally, Elon Musk wanted to stay true to his April Fools’ tweet and name the liquor “Teslaquila.” However, due to the fact that the word “tequila” is a designation of origin (meaning it can only be produced in Jalisco, Mexico and designated areas in four other Mexican States), the Tequila Regulatory Council objected that the name “Teslaquila” would cause confusion about the product and should not be given a trademark. Tesla’s legal team countered, saying that the suffix “-quila” was a natural variant of the word “tequila” and should so be allowed.
Unfortunately for Elon, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property ruled that “Teslaquila” would not be allowed to register as a brand, and it was back to the drawing board for the Tesla team. Ultimately, they decided to go with the name “Tesla Tequila” and were successful in registering it as a brand in both Mexico and the United States. Tesla Tequila is associated with Destiladora del Valle de Tequila, a distillery in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico.
The Tesla Tequila Bottle
Another interesting hurdle in Tesla’s quest to make Tesla Tequila a real product was figuring out how to mass-produce their bottles. They had decided on a lightning bolt-shaped bottle inspired by the icon for their GPS-based Supercharger app that allows Tesla owners to find charging stations. However, many of the suppliers that they initially spoke with said that mass-producing bottles of that shape would be nearly impossible. But, of course, the word “impossible” is not in Elon Musk’s vocabulary.
The Tesla team wouldn’t compromise on the lightning bolt-shaped bottle, claiming that it was a vital part of their marketing strategy for the product. Eventually, they found a manufacturer who could handle the product, and the liquor hit the market on November 5th, 2020, and sold out that very same day.
Tesla Tequila Sold Out
Yes, within 24 hours of the first batch of Tesla Tequila hitting the market, Tesla had completely sold out of the booze. When asked about it, Javier Verdura, product design director at Tesla, said, “There was no doubt this was going to be the result.” It seems likely that production of Tesla Tequila was intentionally cut short since the rarity of a product tends to drive up its price, and no one understands that better than Elon Musk. The price of a bottle of Tesla Tequila on Tesla’s website is $250, and people on the secondary market are selling them for a whole lot more.
After a four-month spell, Tesla decided to do another limited run of Tesla Tequila in March of 2021, and the result was pretty much the same. The bottles sold out almost immediately. No news has come out to date about whether or not Tesla will have another release of Tesla Tequila in the future, but seeing as it was almost certainly a profitable endeavor, I don’t see why they wouldn’t.
What Is Tesla Tequila?
Tesla Tequila is made by California-based Nosotros Tequila, with which Tesla partnered on this project. Apparently, employees from Tesla went to taste tequilas from several different distilleries around the United States and decided that Nosotros had the best product. The description of Tesla Tequila’s flavor and manufacturing process, as stated on Tesla’s website, is as follows:
“Introducing Tesla Tequila, an exclusive, small-batch premium 100% de agave tequila añejo made from sustainably sourced highland and lowland agaves. Aged for 15 months in French oak barrels and into a hand-blown glass bottle, Tesla Tequila features a dry fruit and light vanilla nose with a balanced cinnamon pepper finish. Best enjoyed as a sipping tequila.”
Nosotros Tequila also sells Reposado tequila for $45 per bottle, which is extremely similar to Tesla Tequila. Specifically, the only real differences are that Tesla Tequila is aged in a barrel for 15 months and then poured into a lightning bolt-shaped bottle bearing the Tesla name. The fact that they can charge a $205 premium for these slight changes is truly a testament to the strength of the Tesla brand.
Empty Tesla Tequila Bottles on eBay
What may be an even greater testament to the mental real estate that Tesla has captured is the fact that empty bottles of Tesla Tequila are fetching exorbitant prices on eBay. That’s right, people are buying tequila bottles without any tequila in them, and oftentimes for more money than the full bottles originally sold for.
Liquor sales on eBay are not allowed, so there are no full bottles of Tesla Tequila listed on the site. However, some of the empty bottles (with the included stand and box) are selling for prices in the thousands.
Perhaps the buyers of these empty bottles are either huge fans of the Tesla brand and want an empty liquor bottle bearing the Tesla name prominently displayed on their dining room table or on their mantle. Or maybe the buyers are hoping that empty bottles of Tesla Tequila will eventually become highly collectible and will appreciate in value in the future. In my personal opinion, paying $250 for a full bottle of tequila is a little steep, but paying $1,000 for an empty bottle of tequila is just absolutely preposterous.