Picasso, Haring & Beyond: Glitziest Artist-Designed Tequilas
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From Guillermo Del Toro To Picasso, A Tour Through The Glitziest Artist-Designed Tequila Releases

Artist-Designed Tequilas

(Photo: Patron Tequila)

Whether you’re at the liquor store or the club, decadent tequila bottles decorated with all manner of paintings, gold foil, beads and more are popping up everywhere. If you’re looking for an extravagant statement piece, tequila is the spirit to beat.

A handful of distillers have upped the ante by collaborating with high-profile artists both new and old. From filmmakers to sculptors, we’re taking a look at five of the glitziest artist-designed releases to bless the market.

Patrón x Guillermo del Toro Extra Añejo Tequila

Artist-Designed Tequilas

(Photo: Patron Tequila)

Guillermo Del Toro — the acclaimed filmmaker behind Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, Pacific Rim and more — was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, a stone’s throw away from the world’s tequila-producing epicenter.

The director collaborated with Patron in 2017, lending his eye for gothic horror to a hellishly boozy box set that includes, among many details, two miniature candles. The main attraction is an upside-down rendition of the brand’s classic short and stout bottle, filled with a five-year extra añejo aged in new and used oak barrels. On top, you’ll find a 100ml skull decanter filled with a “first-of-its-kind” aged Patron orange liqueur.

This is, for all intents and purposes, the most expensive margarita kit on planet Earth. Originally retailing for $399, this ornate release from Del Toro now resells for upwards of $2,750. Unless you’re a superfan, chances are you won’t be tasting this tequila anytime soon.

Kimo Sabe Sacred Heritage Collection

Artist-Designed Tequilas

(Photo: Kimo Sabe Mezcal)

In collaboration with the Huichol and Wixarika people of western Mexico, Kimo Sabe is set to release 1888 1:1 mezcal bottles, each adorned with a different beaded landscape inspired by the tribe’s spiritual iconography. Proceeds from these 6-year-aged Espadin and Tequilana mezcals are set to directly fund the artisans who made them.

Somewhat inevitably for bespoke bottles in this day and age, the Sacred Heritage Collection will eventually be sold as NFTS (within the burgeoning NFT-alcohol status quo, high-end releases are accompanied by a tradeable virtual token). Joining the likes of 1800 Tequila’s $25,000 NFT and Hennessey’s $226,000 NFT, bottles of Kimo Sabe will be retailing at $3,000 a piece.

Los Azulejos Picasso Masterpiece Collection

Artist-Designed Tequilas

(Photo: Los Azulejos Tequila)

Tequila Los Azulejos debuted its Picasso Masterpiece Collection in 2006, an assortment of abstract Picasso-inspired portraits inscribed on the side of ceramic 3-year extra añejo decanters.

Emphasis on the Picasso-inspired — Azulejos did not collaborate directly with Picasso nor his estate, and the paintings themselves are not one-to-one renditions of his work. The association is arguably dubious, though, to its credit, a good deal of Picasso’s work does now exist in the public domain.

The tequila within is aged for 40 months in French Cognac Oak barrels and retails for around $300 a bottle. If pastel hues are your thing, these would look fantastic on a display shelf.

Sergio Bustamente Rey Sol Añejo

Artist-Designed Tequilas

(Photo: Tequila Rey Sol)

Born in Sinaloa, Mexico, Sergio Bustamente’s eclectic sculpture and painting repertoire has established him as a beloved favorite for decades. His work specializes in playfully unnerving faces: from cats to eggs to alligators, Bustamente’s portraits can now be found on everything from high-end jewelry to 20-foot statues.

Collaborating with Rey Sol Tequila, Bustamente recreated one of his iconic sun designs on a hand-blown glass decanter. If you’re looking for a bottle that’ll judge you every time you sip it, feel free to gaze into the eyes of this 6-year extra añejo. Naturally, it costs upwards of $400.

1800 Essential Artists Series – Keith Haring

Artist-Designed Tequilas

(Photo: 1800 Tequila)

1800’s Essential Artists series has been running for years, working with the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Shepard Fairy, Mark Sweeney and countless others. Arguably the most famous of the bunch is its 2015 collaboration with pop icon Keith Haring.

Yes, it’s true, Haring’s work can be found everywhere nowadays. But the novelty still stands: the clear blanco tequila and glass exterior acts almost as a magnifying glass, blowing up each rendition of Haring’s multicolored stick figures to spirited new heights.

Fortunately for collectors, 1800 releases its Essential Artist bottles for only $30 each. In the case of Keith Haring, however, that comes with a glaring caveat — these graffitied tequilas now resell for up to $3,000.

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.