Teslaquila is actually a pretty good idea

Is there beverage service on SpaceX flights?
Is there beverage service on SpaceX flights?
Image: AP Photo/Chris Carlson
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Tequila and Twitter might just mix for Elon Musk. Last week CNBC reported that Tesla had filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the brand name “Teslaquila,” an idea Musk came up with on Twitter

The whole thing started as an April Fool’s joke in which Musk, Tesla’s CEO, tweeted that the company was filing for bankruptcy and that he was drowning his sorrows in Teslaquila. Unlike some of his other Twitter musings, like when he contemplated about taking Tesla private and got fined $20 million by the SEC as a result, Teslaquila could actually turn out to be a solid idea.

In 2017, George Clooney, sold Casamigos, the tequila brand he and his long-time pal and drinking buddy Rande Gerber started, to the international spirits giant Diaego for a billion dollars. The Rock has also indicated that he will soon be launching his own brand of tequila, called Mana. Sean Combs owns half of the brand DeLéon. Justin Timberlake’s Sauza 901 Tequila launched with a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign in which JT plays a dried up lime who can’t find work because of the supremely smooth new tequila on the market.

Celebrity booze in general is booming: Bob Dylan sells whiskey now, Ryan Reynolds owns a stake in Aviation Gin, and everyone, seemingly, has a rosé. Tequila though, is an especially sweet spot in the market, having become prominent, along with mezcal, on menus at the types of bars and restaurants that make frequent cameos on Instagram. Fortune reports that overall, tequila sales grew 8.5% from 2016 to 2017; exports of pure tequila from Mexico to the US grew nearly 200% in the past decade; and sales by volume of high-end tequilas that cost $100 a bottle or more have increased by close to 350% since 2002.

There’s no need to actually have any knowledge of agave farming, distilling methods, or any of the details of production to put your name on a bottle. While Clooney and Gerber claim to taste every batch, Reynolds and Diddy admit they simply decided to pony up large investments in companies that really spoke to their taste buds. This is a game you can buy your way into.

A ready audience, an affluent market—Teslaquila seems ready-made for Musk. Some of his Twitter fans even have some notes on the idea.