Tepache is a delicious and refreshing Mexican drink made from pineapple peels, water, sugar and cinamon, taking advantage of parts of the fruit that usually are discarded. Tepache is also called “sweet pineapple beer” due to the brewing process; alcoholic degree may vary (0.5% – 2%) depening on the various factors like ingredients, fermentation time, room temperature, etc.
Thanks to the many properties of the pineapple, Tepache contains bromelain (a group of enzymes found in the pineapple plant and fruit), probiotics, vitamins A, B and C and many minerals like magnesium, copper and iron. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and diuretic beverage.
- The peel of 1 large pineapple, pulp and core are optional
- 1 Cinamon stick
- 1 picece of piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar, used in Mexican cuisine), or use 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 whole cloves
- Large glass, ceramic or plastic container to ferment (avoid using containers and spoons made of metal)
- Glass pitcher to serve
Remove the pineapple crown, then rinse the body of the pineapple very well; remove the peel and separate pulp and core, cut in chunks. Tepache can be prepared with the peel only, but if you would like to give more flavour to the beverage, you can also add the core and pulp chunks.
In a large container, place first the piloncillo or sugar, add water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then add the pineapple peels, core and pulp (optional), cinamon stick, cloves and rest of the water.
Cover well with a cheesecloth or towel that allows the brew to breathe. Ideal room temperature is 22-24°C. Fermentation expedites on a warm environment and slows down when it is cooler.
To allow the sugar and fruit to fermet it is important to leave the mix undisturbed. The yeast living in the fruit skin will then feed of sugar and provide the beverage with its traditional flavour plus the carbonation.
Check the beverage after 24 hours. You will notice small bubbles and white foam formed at the top of the water, this foam is normal. Remove the white foam with a plastic or wooden spoon. Let it rest for another 24 hours and taste. You can repeat the process for a total of 72 hours. Fermenting for more days than the recommended will turn the beverage into vinegar.
Strain the liquid and place it in a glass pitcher, it can be chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours or served immediately with lots of ice. Enjoy!