Culture

Elon Musk Still Wants To Release His Teslaquila But He Doesn’t Seem To Be Making It Happen

Love it or hate him, there is no denying that tech billionaire Elon Musk is a real disrupter. He is one of the minds behind the groundbreaking online transactions system PayPal, among other successful digital ventures. He has also revolutionized the car industry with his clean Tesla models and is in the run to be one of the power players in the private space industry with his project SpaceX.

So what is next for this mogul who is famous for his sometimes overwhelming frankness and for almost always getting his way? Musk is the man who famously said: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor” and “I could either watch it happen or be a part of it”. So the story you are about to read does not fall out of character for this man born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971, and who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Read on to find out what the new goal is for this modern-day Citizen Kane. Sign with us: “Tequila! nana nara na na na na”. 

This might sound like an April Fool’s joke, but it isn’t: Elon Musk actually wants to release a tequila-like drink.

Credit: @elonmusk / Twitter

On October 2018 the technology mogul announced that he was developing Teslaquila, a drink derived 100% from Blue Agave, the plant that tequila comes from. We mean, the word “Teslaquila” is adorable and smart, but isn’t tequila supposed to be produced in Mexico only? Isn’t making a tequila that has nothing to do with Mexico a sort of cultural appropriation? Tequila, es importante decirlo, has a Denomination of Origin, which means that it can only be produced in the region of Tequila, Mexico. Problems ahead for Elon and his company, as the tequila industry is a tightly knit group that has resisted production outside of Mexico for decades.

And of course, social media wasn’t taking it too seriously. Musk in the tequila business, seriously?

Credit: mememumma2 / Instagram

Memes started to come out about Elon’s new project. Fake bottle designs such as this one, featuring a gringo having a siesta by his Tesla, soon started to populate social media. We all had a good laugh about it, but when Musk sets his mind on something things usually are set in motion.

Hey, Elon, shake those maracas, muchacho!

Credit: t35l_4 / Instagram

Some fake bottles were more on brand, such as this one of Elon’s silhouette while shaking a pair of maracas and being serenaded by a mariachi band. A little too much gringo-cinco-de-mayouuuu for us. 

Although some of Elon Musk’s fanboys couldn’t wait to crack a Teslaquila bottle open!

Credit: spiritshunters / Instagram

Musk has legions of hardcore fans, particularly men who venerate him like a god. Of course, the idea of having a Teslaquila-infused fratboy party really got their juices flowing, and some even created artistic odes to Elon Musk’s new great idea. Online transactions, cars, the new space age… tequila! 

Here is the approximate design, pretty much in the same high tech style of the rest of the Tesla emporium

Credit: Screen-Shot-2018-10-12-at-10.22.52-AM. Digital image. Tech Crunch.

Elon even released this approximate design for the bottle. It looks high tech and kind of cool, to be honest. Will we ever see those on shelves? First Elon needs to solve a “little” problem. 

But they couldn’t so they are involved in a trademark dispute, because tequila has to be produced in a specific part of Mexico.

Credit: maxresdefault. Digital image. My Tesla Life

The Tequila Regulatory Council made it very clear in November 2018 that Musk’s Teslaquila would not fly, even if the billionaire vowed to fight “Big Tequila.” As reported by SyndiGate Media, the council asserted that: “If Tesla wants to make Teslaquila viable as 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. Otherwise, it would be making unauthorized use of the denomination of origin for tequila”. Ouch, that must have hurt the ego of a man who is famous for almost always getting his way. 

They have files to register the trademark but it is useless without the rights to call it tequila.

Credit: Screen-Shot-2018-10-12-at-1.03.38-PM. Digital image. Electreck

Thus is the actual attempt by Musk to take Teslaquila off the ground. Not so quick, mister. It seems, however, that the Musk will be a good boy and follow the rules. In November 2018 The Toronto Sun published: “A Tesla spokesperson said the CRT’s worries are unfounded and that Teslaquila will comply with all the organization’s necessary standards and requirements. The spokesperson added that Teslaquila will be made in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and Tesla expects to get the CRT’s approval for the beverage”. So did the Tequila Chamber and journalists jump the gun in anticipation of a long and costly legal fight. 

But as Musk found out, making real tequila is not that simple, legally or otherwise. Everything is at a standstill.

Credit: tesla-mexico-header. Digital image. VinePair

The authorities have been clear. As reported by CE Noticias Financieras on March 28, 2019, no brands, including Teslaquila, can use the word tequila because this is reserved to the alcoholic beverage derived from blue agave produced in the Tequila region, in the Mexican state of Jalisco. “We are going to have, without any doubt, all the possibility of being able to take them out of the market and take corresponding legal actions. This recognition will give much greater certainty to the industry. I practically believe that it makes tequila one of the most protected products in Europe and in Latin America, “explained Ramón González Figueroa, president of the Tequila Regulatory Chamber, to CE Noticias Financieras. This Chamber has been successful in cases against “fake tequila” in countries like Japan and Chile, where Mariachi Tequila was defeated in the courts. “Teslaquila” is too close to “Tequila” to be considered a different product.

Musk is ready for a fight, or so he says and we are still waiting to see that fight.

Credit: godemperormusk / Instagram

Elon is a legendary underdog and he loves a big fight. One of his mottos is: “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up”. He has vowed to fight what he calls “Big Tequila”. We think that this attitude is a bit colonial and, honestly, a little disrespectful. He has it all and wants more, even if it is in detriment of tequila producers who actually live and work in… you guessed… a little place called Tequila! Is this what we would call cultural appropriation? Maybe. 

In the meantime, other celebrities North of the Border have successfully announced their plans to launch tequila brands.

Credit: @TeslaHab / Twitter

Recently, Breaking Bad protagonists Aaron Paul and Bryan Craston teased a reunion, which had fans of their iconic TV show drooling at the possibility of a new adventure. But nah, they are touring Mexico looking for the perfect conditions to produce and release their own tequila. It must really sting for Musk to see other people doing it the right way and getting to make their tequila dreams a reality. Obviously, Musk fans brought up the still plausible possibility of Teslaquila. Hey, Elon, we got a slogan for you: “Teslaquila: a drink that will electrify you!”

READ: Elon Musk’s ‘Teslaquila’ Drink Faces Legal Trouble From Mexican Tequila Industry

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#NationalTequilaDay Gives You Something To Celebrate While Sitting In Your Living Room

Culture

#NationalTequilaDay Gives You Something To Celebrate While Sitting In Your Living Room

Refugio Ruiz / Getty Images

Even when we aren’t in quarantine, tequila can offer a quick and fun respite from the world. Today is National Tequila Day and the current state of the world is a great reason to celebrate. There is more than just the drinking of tequila to celebrate.

Happy National Tequila Day!

Tequila is arguably one of the several gifts Mexico has given to the world. It is just one of the many culinary treats that the vibrant and beautiful country has created. Makes sense that we would have a national do to truly appreciate the nectar from the Mexican gods.

Women had a major hand in developing the liquor that has become a staple around the world.

Women were some of the first to cultivate the blue agave plant center to create the drink. The women on Tequila, where tequila was born, would harvest the hijuelos in the blue agave plant. That part of the plant is what is used to make tequila.

Tequila, like champagne, is from a very specific place.

Champagne is champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Tequila is no different. In fact, there is a board of people in Mexico who decide who can and cannot call themselves tequila. Elon Musk was swatted down by that board when he claimed to be making his own version of tequila produced outside of the region.

If you’ve ever wanted to know the chemistry behind tequila, there are some helpful graphs floating around.

The treatment of the tequila really dictates the flavor, color, and profile of the drink. it might even help you discover what kind of tequila you might like to drink. Maybe you might prefer a mezcal instead. Mezcal is not always tequila but tequila is always mezcal.

Either way, enjoy your day celebrating tequila.

With so few options for outing, why not make your own tequila celebration happen at home. You won’t have to drive or put on pants so it is truly a win-win.

READ: 14 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Tequila Right Now

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A New Investigation Alleges That Some Of Mexico’s Largest Tequila Brands Are Laundering Money For Drug Cartels

Things That Matter

A New Investigation Alleges That Some Of Mexico’s Largest Tequila Brands Are Laundering Money For Drug Cartels

Carlos Jasso / Getty

Thre have long been alleged links between Mexico’s drug cartels and legitimate businesses. Whether by pressure or choice, several companies have been proven to be working alongside some of Mexico’s most deadly cartels – whether it be laundering money, lobbying politicians, or paying off corrupt officials.

However, a new investigation has revealed just how far the cartels have gone to ensure a steady stream of cash directly to their pockets. And in the process, they’ve revealed that some of Mexico’s most iconic brands may be tied to some of its most dangerous cartels.

Working together with the U.S. DEA, Mexico has identified tequila brands that are allegedly laundering money for cartels.

On Tuesday, Mexican financial regulators unveiled details about companies they believe to be linked to movements totaling more than $1.1 billion related to the hyper-violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). They also froze the bank accounts of nearly 2,000 people they allege are involved in the money laundering scheme.

The country’s anti-money laundering agency said it worked with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to identify the 167 companies caught up in the financial dragnet, dubbed “Operation Blue Agave.”

Blue agave is the plant used to make tequila, which is the signature drink of Jalisco, the cartel’s home state.

Drug cartels have a long history of using tequila to disguise their operations, dating to at least 2006.

Credit: Carlos Jasso / Getty

This isn’t the first time that criminal groups have used Mexico’s most popular beverage to advance their illegal activities – links between the tequila industry and drug cartels go back to at least 2006. That was the year the DEA first discovered a connection between tequila and drug trafficking in Mexico, the newspaper Milenio reported on Thursday.

Much like today’s report, it’s alleged that drug cartels are using legitimate – and sometimes totally fake – tequila companies to launder money.

In 2006, it was the Tequila Cartel – also known as the Arellano Félix organization – that was found to be using tequila as a front for illegal activities. the U.S. Treasury Department had alleged that the tequila company 4 Reyes had helped the Tijuana Cartel to launder the money it obtained from distributing drugs in both Mexico and the U.S.

So which tequila companies have been accused of working alongside the cartels?

Mexican officials so far are remaining pretty tight lipped about which specific companies have been accused of working alongside the cartels. However, from previous reports, links between the tequila company Onze Black have been discovered. The company was set up by Los Cuinis, a drug cartel with close ties to the CJNG, to help finance its criminal activities. The U.S. government added the company to an economic blacklist the same year.

Another tequila company, one owned by the actress Kate del Castillo, was investigated by Mexican authorities to establish whether it had any financial links to the former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, currently imprisoned in the United States.

However, no illicit dealings between del Castillo’s company, Tequila Honor, and El Chapo were detected.

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