After a sunny vacation in Mexico, Bittermens’ Avery and Janet Glasser fell in love with tepache, a tangy, tart, refreshing, slightly alcoholic beverage that’s incredibly popular throughout the country and often sold straight from the barrel by street vendors.
It’s made by fermenting pineapple rinds with spices like clove, cinnamon and allspice, and sweetened with piloncillo (those cones of brown sugar). Mexican tepache is naturally a little alcoholic and must be drunk quickly, before the constantly hungry yeast just turns it into vinegar.
Back in New Orleans, the Glassers wanted to get to the core of the matter: how to enjoy tepache anywhere, any time, without worrying that it might pass its peak flavor? So they got to work consulting a pineapple expert (yes!) and spice vendors to create a formula that captures the spirit and flavor of tepache in a higher proof, totally shelf-stable liqueur. They dunk pineapple, rind and all, in alcohol to slowly extract the flavor, then add warm spices and sweeten with granulated molasses.
tip of the tongue
Go for a refreshing Pineapple Shandy and add a shot or two of Tepache with your favorite wheat beer. Or try a Liquid Sunshine: Combine 1.5 ounce tequila, 1 ounce Tepache, 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup and a few dashes of Wigle Whiskey Organic Molé Bitters in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Shake until very cold, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
did you know?
What’s in a name? Well, we’ve heard that tepache was traditionally made with corn until at least the early 1500s. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word tapiatl, which means “drink made from corn.”