This article is part of a series, highlighting the importance of additive-free and authentic tequila, partnered by PATRÓN. Discover more at The World of PATRÓN.
Many tequila fans know about PATRÓN and its longstanding commitment to the traditional tequila-making process. Of course, this includes the tahona, a huge, handmade stone milling wheel that has historically been used to crush cooked agave to extract its sweet juices. Most also know that PATRÓN produces all of its acclaimed tequilas without using any chemical additives, flavorings, or colorings. The brand is similarly famous for not using diffusers, the massive industrial extractors widely employed in modern agave processing (though at a cost to the resulting spirits). For PATRÓN, that commitment to authenticity and respect for the traditional tequila-making process has earned widespread love among tequila aficionados.
But what’s less well known is how the great tequila maker has shared its respect for other traditional artisans in its home country — especially those in illustration, art, and design.
Working With Artists
For half a decade, PATRÓN has worked with one leading artist to create an annual, limited-edition Mexican Heritage Tin. In 2017, the tin featured the wildlife designs of Adrian Dominguez, which includes a traditional peacock and jaguar. The next year, Mazatlán’s Joel Berrelleza created a highly symbolic design including wolves, an eagle, and a jimador wearing a pre-Columbian wolf mask. In 2019, graffiti artist Smithe drew his inspiration from traditional Mexican embroidery and the nocturnal color palette of the party life in Mexico City. And last year, Tavo Montañez used the tin’s tableaux to tell the story of agave and the agave goddess Mayahuel.
This year, the art-covered collectible was designed by the celebrated muralist SENKOE, whose work has been installed and displayed everywhere from Delhi to Chicago. A leading artist of his generation, SENKOE celebrates Mexico’s pre-Columbian history with a unique blend of street art and fine art that some have called “narrative graffiti.”
The inspiration for his stunning, 2021 design? The passionate mastery of his country’s traditional artisans, including its famous muralists.
“For the design of the tin, I wanted to reflect the beautiful and vibrant history of Mexican street art, while showcasing the commitment PATRÓN has shown to keeping traditions of tequila production alive,” SENKOE says. “I’m truly inspired by PATRÓN tequila: You have an iconic brand that is so full of passion and proud of its Mexican roots. To this day, PATRÓN tequila is still handcrafted in Mexico and stays true to tradition using its original time-honored, handcrafted production method from day one.”
A Commitment to Craft
The distillery’s commitment to art and artisans comes from an abiding respect for the craft — and the flavors created by those traditional methods, explains the brand’s director of production, Antonio Rodriguez.
“It really comes down to the taste and quality of our products,” Rodriguez says. “We don’t compromise on flavor and with that comes a more meticulous process. The traditional process of making tequila cannot be rushed.”
One traditional artisan was particularly crucial for the distillery’s own development, Rodriguez says: the brand’s former master distiller, Francisco Alcaraz.
“The traditional process of making tequila cannot be rushed. We were lucky enough to have Francisco Alcaraz, who designed the process and taught us how to get the highest intensity of sweet agave flavor,” Rodriguez says. “The result of using this time-honored process is unmatched, and not something we’re willing to compromise on just to speed up production.”
Collect and Wear
Over the years, PATRÓN has continued to impress with its colorful Mexican Heritage Tins. Each release has become a favorite for collectors, who cherish the packages for their high artistic value long after the great tequila they once held has been sipped away. Even without a bottle inside, the older Mexican Heritage Tins can be prized finds on auction sites.
But this year, fans will have a new way to collect and enjoy the distillery’s Mexican-inspired artworks: a first-of-its-kind line of streetwear produced in partnership with famed designer John Geiger.
Known for his limited-edition kicks, John Geiger has designed a collection of socks and long-sleeve shirts that take their inspiration from this year’s Mexican Heritage Tin.
“With streetwear, it is important to bring together all aspects of cultural influences,” Geiger says. “I wanted this collection to represent the dedication that goes into craft, whether that be a bottle of PATRÓN tequila or a one-of-a-kind mural. There is so much dedication and character behind Mexican culture, and SENKOE being a local artist, it is inspiring to see him convey it all through his work.”
Chloe Lloyd-Jones, PATRÓN Tequila vice president, says that the collection highlights the common ground shared by both streetwear and murals.
“With this year’s theme highlighting Mexican street art, we collaborated with fashion designer John Geiger to showcase the parallels between SENKOE’s street art and streetwear,” Lloyd-Jones says. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with two extremely talented creators that share the same level of commitment and passion for their culture.”
The PATRÓN x John Geiger streetwear collection will be available for purchase starting July 24 at Johngeigerco.com. Available in limited quantities, the socks retail at $30 and the long-sleeve shirts at $85.
The limited-edition PATRÓN Mexican Heritage Tin is available nationwide at local retailers and online at ReserveBar.com for an SRP of $56, while supplies last.
For those who have trouble remembering the date, it’s National Tequila Day.
This article is sponsored by PATRÓN.