Ay, caramba! Tequila firm aims for record with £120,000 bottle

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The Independent US

Despite a long and proud history as Mexico's national drink, tequila tends to be the favourite tipple of students knocking back shots of the potent liquor during a drunken night out.

But now a Mexican company is trying to take the firewater upmarket by selling what it claims is the world's most expensive bottle of tequila.

In Mexico City this week, Tequila Ley .925, a company that specialises in vintage and premium-quality tequila, unveiled a new luxury range that included 33 solid platinum bottles selling for $225,000 (£120,000) a piece.

Such a price tag would almost certainly create the world's most expensive tequila shot - somewhere in the region of £6,000.

Fernando Altamirano, the chief executive of the tequila company, told guests at this week's launch party: "Tonight we are trying for the Guinness Book of Records with the most expensive bottle in the world."

Each one of the limited-edition containers, which resemble a barbed sea shell and are engraved by Alejandro Gomez Oropeza, a Mexican artist, are filled with Pasion Azteca tequila, made from pure sap of the blue agave plant that has been fermented, distilled, and aged for six years.

For tequila lovers with slightly less disposable income, a further 33 bottles have been commissioned out of gold and platinum and will retail for the slightly cheaper price of $150,000 whilst a "budget" range of gold and silver bottles will set buyers back by $25,000.

Mr Altamirano, whose company has won several awards for its unorthodox bottle designs, claimed one buyer has already bought an undisclosed number of bottles but he refused to say where the offer came from.

"Since we started out, we began with the idea of making the finest, most expensive bottle of tequila in the world," Mr Altamirano said.

Stuart Claxton, a spokesman for the Guinness Book of Records in New York, said that the Mexican company's claim to have the most expensive bottle of tequila in the world had yet to be verified.

"Whilst we do recognise records for most expensive items, we obviously prefer that these are officially recognised once proof has been produced that someone has actually paid a record-breaking price, as opposed to a company simply placing a price tag on an item," he said.

Much of the Pasion Azteca's price tag is down to the quantity of platinum of the bottle rather than the actual quality of the tequila inside.

According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive bottle of spirits was sold at auction in Milan in 1992, when an unknown bidder paid £45,483 for a 50-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich single malt whiskey.