Pineapple tepache is a naturally fermented drink originating in Mexico. This easy to make recipe produces a delicious refreshing home brew.
Where did pineapple tepache originate?
Tepache was originally made with corn. It's name comes from the Nahuatl "Tepatti", which means "Maize Drink". The origional recipe can still be found in some small rural communities in Mexico. Today, Tepache drinks are generally made with pineapple peels, water, piloncillo sugar, cinnamon and cloves. If you do not have piloncillo you can use brown sugar, coconut sugar or regular white sugar.
My pineapple tepache recipe
I went through a very interesting stage in my career 4 years ago making all kinds of probiotic fermented beverages. First was kombucha tea, which I was introduced to while on a culinary tour of Northern Thailand in 2015.
I went on to teach Raw Food & Fermentation all over UK; mainly as a guest chef lecturer at Leith's school of food and wine, London.
While developing course curriculums, I discovered lots of new recipes from around the world.
- Pineapple tepache
- Beetroot kvass
- Water kefir
- Milk kefir
- Coconut kefir
- Ginger beer
I moved to Phuket, Thailand in 2018 and for the first time saw pineapples growing! Pineapple grow in abundance here in Southern Thailand. I have been making my own tepache home brews here with pineapple from my neighbours plantations.
You can't get more local than that!
Health benefits of pineapple tepache
Tepache helps in restoring the intestinal flora when consumed before meals due to its high probiotic content. It has vitamin "C", contains antioxidants and is at the same time a diuretic.
Simple ingredients needed
All you need to make tepache is:
- Brown sugar
- Optional flavors - cinnamon, clove, star-anise, ginger
I like to add ginger, turmeric, tamarind, lemon grass and even a slice of chili to cut through the sweet-sour flavor.
How to make tepache
You can make your own tepache at home within 4 days.
Here is how to make it:
- Boil 500ml of the water and pour into a glass jar with the brown sugar and any optional flavours you are using. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Pour in the remaining 1 liter of cold water.
- Allow this to cool.
- Next, prepare the pineapple. Wash and cut the peel and core into medium sized pieces.
- Now, simply add the pineapple peelings and core into the cooled sweet liquid.
- Stir to combine all ingredients.
- Cover with a muslin or towel and secure with elastic band to keep any foreign objects out.
- Leave for about 48 hours at room temperature.
- Strain the liquid and transfer to airtight glass bottles.
- Leave these bottles at room temperature for 2 days to build up the natural carbonation.
- Refrigerate until chilled and then serve over ice.
- Weighing scales
- Chopping board
- Chefs knife
- Saucepan - medium size
- Mixing bowl
- Glass bottles
- 500 g Pineapple organic
- 100 g Brown sugar
- 1500 ml Water - filtered
- Assemble the ingredients.
- Heat 500ml of the water in a large pot until it starts to boil.
- Take the saucepan off the heat, and add the brown sugar to dissolve and cool while we are working with the pineapple.
- Cut the crown off of the pineapple. Wash the outside of the pineapple with water, making sure to get rid of any dirt particles or potential bugs.
- Peel the pineapple. Do this on a chopping board set into the sink to reduce mess. Cut a slice off the top of the fruit, another slice off the bottom, and then slice the peel off in strips.
- Cut the fruit of the pineapple into slices or chunks, reserving for another use.
- Cut up the core and add the the peelings to make Tepache.
- Once the sugar has dissolved into the hot water and allowed to cool, place the pieces of pineapple peel and core into the saucepan along with the 1000ml of remaining water. Stir well.
- Cover the pot with a muslin cloth or dishtowel, and set it on the kitchen counter or another place (at room temperature) where it is easily accessible but out of the way. The towel will keep out any foreign matter while allowing air to reach the mixture, allowing for successful fermentation.
- After 24 to 36 hours, check your tepache. If you see a bit of frothy white foam on the surface of the water, it’s fermenting. The time necessary for fermentation will vary according to the temperature, ripeness of the pineapple, and other factors.
- Once your tepache has reached the desired level of fermentation, strain out, and discard all the solids.
- Transfer the liquid to air-tight glass bottles and leave at room temperature for 2 days to build up the carbonation.
- Transfer Tepache to the refrigerator to chill.
- Before serving, take a test drink. Add more water or honey to taste.
- Best served over ice with a wedge of lime.
- Add some fresh-squeezed lime juice to the final product to give it an extra-refreshing kick and balance the sweetness.
- Try adding a few cloves, cinnamon or star anise to the mixture in the pot for an additional bit of spice.
- When serving, add fresh chopped fruit (pineapple, oranges, limes, apples, etc.) to a pitcher of tepache —similar to what is done with sangria—for added fun! Serve with a straw and a spoon.
ADD YOUR OWN RECIPE NOTES
Chef's Top Tip
Don’t throw away the pineapple rind after making the tepache. You can make another batch of tepache with the same peelings. The second batch is often even more tasty than the first!
What are the health benefits of fermented foods?
Fermented foods aid in digestion and support the immune system.
When our digestion is functioning properly, we are absorbing and assimilating all the nutrients we need, our immune system tends to be happy and better equipped to wage war against disease and illness.
In this day and age of a global pandemic, anything we can do to naturally boost our immune system is a wise investment in our health and wellbeing.
Wonderful. So well detailed.🍍💚
I really enjoyed this drink! Thank you for sharing! 🙏🏻
How do you store the used peel?
Hello, the used peel can be discarded as compost after the fermentation process as it has served it's purpose. Or, it can be used to make another tepache or even pineapple vinegar is an option.
I have made my first batch of Pineapple Tepache and I am totally hooked. I drank Jun or Kombucha for many years but this just tastes beautiful and after two days I have noticed a change in my gut. I am so excited about finding your website and can't wait to try some of your other recipes. Would love to see more on fermented Thai food
Hi Angela, I'm delighted you enjoyed the pineapple tepache. I drank kombucha for years also, it's good to mix things up and get a variety of living foods for your gut. I'm making water kefir and coconut water kefir this week. We are working on a Thai pak dong recipe also. Stay tuned for lots more recipes!
Hi Jamie, my Mom used to make a similar drink with the leftover pineapple peels/skins for us when we were children. I am now 69 and still making it, we added raisins though, it surely helped the fermenting process. It was enjoyed as a cooldrink, being a family of 8 no shop-bought cooldrinks could be afforded. Living on a farm we were blessed with a Mom bottling; pickling the abundance of veg & fruits. I will definitely try your recipe by adding the spices. It sounds delicious! So glad I found your website!
Hi Marianna, thank you for your message. It's so nice to hear this story. Fermenting home brews is becoming a lost art. Let's pass on the knowledge. Best wishes, jamie 🙂