Introducing Tepache Sazón, A Modern Interpretation of a Centuries-Old Mexican Tradition

06/11/2023 by

Tepache, a fermented beverage made from tropical fruit, has a centuries long history in Mexico, but you won't find it outside of a few bars and restaurants in the U.S. That's about to change with Tepache Sazón, a new expression of this traditional Mexican beverage coming to the U.S. courtesy of importer Back Bar Project. Each bottle of this effervescent, amber liquid is hand crafted in San Pancho, Nayarit, using only three natural ingredients: pineapples, piloncillo (or raw cane sugar), and canela, the cinnamon common in Mexican cooking. Tepache Sazón promises to introduce a new generation of drinkers to this traditional beverage with its distinct, uniquely Mexican perspective, just in time for summer.

Although it's not as familiar to American drinkers, Tepache dates back to the Aztecs. The effervescent drink has no single "official" recipe, but it's brewed for everyday occasions and larger festivals by makers ranging from home cooks, to street cart vendors, to chefs in the finest restaurants. Good tepache always starts with a perfectly ripe fruit - usually pineapples - and mixes in herbs, botanicals and a small amount of sugar. You'll find different styles as you travel from region to region, and communities take pride in connecting their very own interpretation with the best ingredients of the season.

Tepache Sazón takes part in this tradition from its home in San Pancho on Mexico's Pacific Coast. The beverage is made from three ingredients: sweet, locally sourced pineapples, piloncillo (raw cane sugar) and canela, a complex, flavorful cinnamon commonly used in Mexican cooking. The pineapple fields are located only 50 kilometers from the tepacheria, the only production facility of its kind in the region. After the super-sweet fruits go through a fermentation process, they are combined with the raw brown sugar, which is itself milled and boiled down into a caramel like liquid that's dried with a traditional process that uses conical wooden molds.

After a little canela is thrown into the mix the result is a 7% ABV, naturally gluten-free beverage that promises a taste of a long Mexican tradition. Bottled into 375 ml glass bottles and available in packs of four, Tepache Sazón is a light, amber liquid that offers a perfect balance between sugar and acidity. Bursting with a perfectly balanced tartness courtesy of the tropical fruit, you'll find subtle hints of spice and toasted caramel underneath the effervescent fizz, along with a taste of San Pancho. 

"San Pancho, it's very small, around 2,000 people," says Sebastian Medina, who is Head of Operations and Senior Tepachero at Tepache Sazón. "We're in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by flora and fauna and traditional Mexican culture. It was important for us to make a delicious product, but also a natural one at every step that really pays homage to the traditions and flavors of this diverse and special place."

Enjoy an ice cold Tepache Sazón straight from the bottle, or serve "beer-and-a-shot" style with any quality Mexican spirit to showcase its versatility. Tepache Sazón's fruit and spice notes accentuate the agave in any solid Tequila, the rounded pineapple flavors dovetail nicely with a smoky Mezcal and the effervescence proves a perfect complement to the herbal and botanical undertones of a good Raicilla. Squeeze in a bit of lemon or lime, or pour it over ice with a salt rim, it's a perfect light-and-bright beverage option for any poolside or outdoor activity on a warm summer day. In Mexico, it's also commonly enjoyed with greasy foods - think barbacoa - and tacos, so it will fit right into your outdoor BBQ or picnic this summer.

With such a wide array of ways to enjoy, it's no wonder that this Tepache picked a word like Sazón as its namesake. Although there is no exact translation in English, the word Sazón in Mexico means the culinary touch that makes someone's food or drink uniquely special. It's like your grandma's signature dish that's always made to perfection. American drinkers will surely see what this means with the launch of Tepache Sazón.

"Everyone in Mexico knows Tepache, and the different local expressions always come with a sense of community and pride," says Rio Chenery, Managing Director and Head Tepachero. "It's really the 'newest' old Mexican beverage, and we're really excited to showcase these traditions and flavors to a new generation of American consumers."

Tepache Sazón (7% ABV per 375ml bottle) is available for retail at a suggested price of $23.99 for a 4-pack at high end retailers and at some of the finest bars and restaurants in the United States.