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Tepache

Tepache
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Tepache is a traditional Mexican beverage made from fermented pineapple husks and rinds and often flavored with cinnamon and other spices. As reducing waste becomes the norm throughout the drinks world, bartenders (professional and at-home) have been seeking ways to use the entirety of a fruit rather than discarding the remains after using parts of it for juice and garnishes. 

This recipe allows you to make use of the parts of a pineapple you might otherwise throw out—the rind and core. Plus, its easy preparation and relatively quick fermenting time of just a few days make it perfect for simple home-brewing. 

It’s fantastic to drink on its own, light and refreshing. As a bonus, you can use it in cocktails, too. It will be slightly spritzy, so try using it as a lengthener in a similar way you might top a drink with beer, ginger beer or other bubbles.

Ingredients

  • Peel and core of 1 medium pineapple. (After rinsing the pineapple thoroughly, cut a pineapple as you usually would. Discard the crown and bottom. Reserve the fruit for another use. Cut the peel and core into 1-inch chunks to be used in this recipe.)
  • 1 cup piloncillo or packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 cups filtered water

Steps

  1. Add the water and piloncillo into a large glass jar and stir until the piloncillo is mostly dissolved.

  2. Add the chunks of pineapple rind and core and the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

  3. Cover jar loosely with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth and tie with a string to secure.

  4. Allow to stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Foam and bubbles will form at the top of the jar; you can scoop this away with a spoon.

  5. Decant into bottles or a pitcher, straining out and discarding the solids. Store in the refrigerator. (This is important; the mixture will continue to ferment if not refrigerated.) Will keep, refrigerated, for up to five days.

  6. Serve over ice or in cocktails.