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La Botanica Chef Rebel Mariposa Featured on San Antonio Current

San Antonio Chef Rebel Mariposa Shares Her Recipe for Tepache, a Refreshing Pineapple Cooler

Posted By Nina Rangel on Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 10:27 am

When it comes to summertime fruit, let’s agree that pineapple is king. Sweet, juicy and tropical, it’s perfect for all kinds of sun-drenched snacking — whether in a smoothie, a fruit salad, a cocktail or … fermented?

Yep, you read that right. Fermented. In which case, it would be tepache, a mildly alcoholic beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples and sweetened either with piloncillo — a dark, unrefined sugar widely used in Mexico — or brown sugar.

Traditionally seasoned with powdered cinnamon and served cold, tepache is allowed to mellow and ferment in a dark, cool place for several days. The result is a slightly carbonated drink with a tiny bit of alcohol, awesome diuretic and probiotic properties and plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Tepache recently appeared on our radar when we asked chef Rebel Mariposa, owner of vegan haven La Botanica on the St. Mary’s strip, what she and her partner had been sipping while quarantined. She told us she’d been taking advantage of local, seasonal produce.

“[My girlfriend Amanda and I] had a lot of produce the other day, so I made us some apple and carrot juice,” Mariposa said. “I made tepache and we set up date nights and sip on shots of mezcal or tequila with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.” 

While cool tepache served straight up is one of Mexico’s most loved street drinks, the drink’s bright and tropical earthiness tastes just as amazing when mixed with similarly earthy spirits such as mezcal or gin.

Mariposa shared her tepache recipe, which made its menu debut circa 2015 in a cocktail called La Morena. Made with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Hendrick’s Gin, citrus, tepache and basil leaves, La Morena is a refreshing and subtly sweet way to use tepache as a summertime libation.

When strained and stored in a sealed container, this tepache can be kept  refrigerated for up to two weeks. Just remember to shake well before serving. Mariposa recommends drinking a small glass every day for optimal probiotic action.

Ingredients:

Skin from one pineapple
3-5 cloves
1 cone of piloncillo
1 cup of cinnamon sticks
1 orange (optional) 


Preparation:

Add all the ingredients to a glass jar and fill to the rim with water.

Cover the jar with breathable cloth and let it sit for three days in a dark corner of your kitchen.

After three days, skim any foam off the top, strain and drink. Provecho!

We Are Opening Slowly And Cautiously

We will be opening our doors for take out & patio seating every Saturday and Sunday 4-8 pm. Please read the guidelines below as we will be strictly enforcing these measures to be in compliance and provide a safe environment for both our staff and guests.

Guidelines:

  • You must enter through the patio with a mask on
  • Wait to be seated
  • Ordering will be done at your table
  • Mask must be worn when not seated at your table
  • Seating will only be available outside
  • We will only seat parties of 6 or less
  • Total duration at the restaurant may not exceed two hours
  • All guidelines must be followed
  • We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone

Lastly, we know the chances of you seeing a comadre, buddy, fellow activist, etc. when at La B are likely and the desire to catch up will be high. We ask that folks respect each other’s space and level of comfort. Ask for consent and keep a safe distance.

We will also continue to offer to-go orders for curbside pickup here or Uber Eats delivery here.

We feel like it is time to take a break!

Since COVID-19 made its way to Texas and governments enacted stay at home orders and special laws for business, we haven’t closed our doors. We took special care and extra precautions to keep our staff and customers safe. 

On Monday, April 27, 2020,  Governor Abbott decided to initiate the reopening of  Texas starting May 1st.  We don’t agree with this decision and believe he is actually unconcerned with the health and well being of the majority of the citizens and folks who currently reside in Texas. 

We understand the current political climate, and given the direct ties between Governor Abbott and Donald Trump, we cannot trust the governor’s judgment at this time. Because of this, we have come to the difficult decision to halt our service temporarily. We feel that at this time, we should take a two-week break to allow our staff to rest and do our part to help lessen the curve. Our team will continue to be paid throughout this time.

The last month and a half has felt like a full sprint from the moment our community went into lockdown. We adapted to the fast-changing laws that would change almost daily and prepared our small staff to continue working as safely as possible under these new circumstances. However, the decision to step back is based on an ethical dilemma: Do we continue to comply and open at 25% and potentially expose our staff to a higher risk of exposure? What if one of our customers contracts COVID-19? Do we continue to use products that medical facilities are more in need of than us? Are we willing to be the guinea pigs for corporate America?

Our mission has always been to provide nutritious, sustainable food, and hold an inclusive, safe space for our community. However, in these decisive times, we are simply not willing to pick money over lives. We hope our community understands our decision and we encourage you to continue supporting La B during our hiatus. 

You can continue to support us through making donations at our Cash App or Paypal. You can also purchase a virtual gift card.

We hope that y’all remain safe and vigilant out there, and we will see y’all soon again.

Sana Sana Vibes, 

-Rebel and the La Botanica Team

Rebel Mariposa featured in San Antonio Magazine: La Botanica Chef Cooks to Connect

“I cook because of memories and connectivity with people. I love to eat as well as to feed other people. To me, gathering around the table is a magical experience.

The ingredient I can’t get enough of is sea salt.

The most underappreciated vegetable is hearts of palm.

My favorite dish on my menu right now is……read article here

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

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San Antonio, Texas