Lara Creasy, an award winning mixologist and wine list creator, tried tepache for the first time at a wedding. The taste was unlike anything she’d ever had, and she was instantly fixated on the traditional Mexican fermented pineapple drink. When the opportunity arose to develop the beverage menu for Superica, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Atlanta’s new Krog Street Market, she knew tepache had to make an appearance.
“Because Superica is supposed to invoke a border-town feel, a real blend of Mexican and Texas cultures, I wanted to do some really traditional things there, things that people who came from Mexico would make at home,” says Creasy.
At Superica, tepache is served in a beer cocktail called Southern Hospitality, which offers an easy access point for guests who are unfamiliar with tepache’s taste.
Superica’s Southern Hospitality cocktail is a point of pride for the staff who love making the tepache that it features.
“Guests who know about tepache love it. Others are willing to give it a try if they are beer people and interested in trying the beer cocktail,” says Creasy. “The bartenders just think it’s fun to have a housemade, crafted product to tell people about.”
Making tepache is simple: it’s just a matter of prepping a few ingredients and letting the magic of fermentation take hold.
To make tepache:
Gather your ingredients: you’ll need 1 whole pineapple, 4 liters of water, 1 lb. of dark brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks and 6 cloves.
Wash the pineapple. Slice off the pineapple’s top and bottom and discard them.
Place the pineapple upright and carefully cut the skin off of its sides (note: if you’d prefer, you can leave the skin on and simply cube the pineapple as is). Divide these skins between two large Mason jars (a gallon sized jar or a sizeable airtight container of your choosing will do).
Slice the remaining pineapple into cubes. Add half the cubed pineapple pieces to one Mason jar and the leftover half to the other.
Add three cloves and one cinnamon stick to each Mason jar.
Place 1 lb. brown sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Add 4 liters of warm water to the bowl and stir vigorously until the brown sugar is dissolved completely.
Pour 2 liters of the brown sugar solution into each Mason jar.
Seal the jars tightly and allow them to sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 days while the mixture ferments.
Superica’s Southern Hospitality cocktail calls for their housemade tepache and an IPA.
After 3 days, strain the liquid. It can be consumed directly, or water can be added for a milder drink. It will yield 6 quarts. In the case of Superica, tepache is added to Southern Hospitality, a light, yet complex beer cocktail.
A special thanks to bartender Sean Michael Long for showing us how Superica makes tepache.