Drink of the Week: Tepache Sazón

It’s not exactly breaking news that we’re all enamored with the flavors of Mexico. The mezcal boom of the last decade has sparked further interest in other regional Mexican spirits like raicilla, charanda, and sotol. So it is likewise unsurprising that ready-to-drink versions of tepache—a lightly fermented pineapple beverage traditionally made in the home—would also hit U.S. market shelves. Lucky us.

Tepache Sazón is the newest iteration of the traditional Mexican beverage to make its way to mass market. Launched earlier this summer, the brand was founded by Rio Chenery, an Australian-born Mexican who moved to Jalisco in 2014 to reunite with his mother. There he started the Estancia Distillery to produce raicilla. A night watchman at the distillery, Margarito Alvarez, showed Chenery his family recipe for tepache. Together they would make batches to share with distillery visitors. Some of those visitors happened to be Chenery’s importers, Back Bar Project, who told Chenery that the tepache should be its own product.

Now produced in the coastal town of San Pancho, in Nayarit, the Tepache Sazón production facility is just 50 kilometers from the pineapple fields where they source their fruit. And although Alvarez has since retired, he still consults with Chenery on the brand, which uses his family recipe. Made with fresh pineapple, piloncillo (raw cane sugar), and canela (the cinnamon common in Mexican cuisine), the result is a lightly sweet, fizzy drink redolent with the flavor and aroma of fresh pineapple. At 7 percent ABV, it’s ideal for sipping in the summer heat and wishing you were in Mexico. See tepachesazon.com for distribution.

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