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Made from fermented pineapple peels, tepache is fizzy and full of flavor

Made from fermented pineapple peels, tepache is fizzy and full of flavor

Originating in Mexico, tepache is a refreshing, zero-waste fermented beverage made from the peel of pineapples. Although tepache is drinkable after two to three days, the real magic happens during the second fermentation, when each bottle fills with Champagne-like bubbles.

Pineapples are high in sugar, and yeast naturally lives on pineapple skins – an ideal combination that creates a low-ABV (between 1 and 3 percent) drink that’s as versatile as ginger beer. Cinnamon, ginger and habanero add dimension and spice to this tepache, but feel free to leave out the heat for a more traditional take.


Yields | 32 oz |

  • 1 cup raw or brown sugar
  • 1 ripe pineapple, rinsed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and crushed
  • ½ habanero, if desired

| Preparation | Add sugar to a sterilized 64-ounce jar or pitcher. Add some warm water; shake or stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove crown and base of pineapple and discard. Cut peel from pineapple in four big chunks, leaving approximately ½ inch of the pineapple flesh on the peel; slice chunks into wedges. Add pineapple wedges and remaining ingredients to container; cover with more warm water. Mix with a spoon to combine. Use a small saucer or fermentation weight to weigh down solids (solids need to be fully submerged in the liquid to prevent mold growth). Cover container with a cheesecloth or regular cloth and secure with a rubber band. Let sit in a dry, dark place at approximately 70°F, 2 to 3 days. Mixture will begin to bubble (if there is a bubbly film on the surface of the liquid, remove with a spoon).

After the allotted time, use a mesh strainer to strain mixture into a clean pitcher. (Reserve solids for a second batch of tepache, if desired.) Add mixture to sterilized fermentation-grade swing-top bottles or leftover glass kombucha bottles with screw caps; secure lids and let sit at room temperature, 2 to 3 days.

After allotted time, transfer to refrigerator to chill. Enjoy over ice or in one of these cocktails: Add Mexican lager to your tepache for a sippable shandy or rum and lime for a Dark and Stormy-style cocktail.

Aztec Shandy

Serves | 1 |

  • 8 oz Mexican lager
  • 4 oz tepache
  • lemon wedge

| Preparation | Add lager and tepache to a pint glass. Squeeze lemon wedge over top and enjoy.

Bermuda Triangle

Serves | 1 |

  • 4 oz tepache
  • 2 oz Bermuda rum (I recommend Goslings Black Seal Rum, aged in charred American oak barrels)
  • ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • lime wheel, for garnish

| Preparation | Add tepache, rum and lime juice to a 12-ounce rocks glass with ice; gently stir to mix. Top with bitters; garnish with lime wheel. Drink up!

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