Originating in Mexico, tepache is made by fermenting pineapple skins. We bring you a sweet yet refreshing pineapple tepache recipe.
With the summer months upon us, now’s the time to look at how to turn the food you have growing in your garden into refreshing cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.
One such beverage is pineapple tepache. Tepache is a fermented beverage made from both the peel and core of pineapples, it’s then sweetened with piloncillo or brown sugar with spices added.
Growing tips for pineapples
To grow from a pineapple top, cut off the crown of a pineapple, remove any remaining flesh and lower leaves to expose a couple of centimetres of stem.
You can either float the top in water, using toothpicks secured in three spots around the base to keep it in place until roots form or, after allowing the base of the stem to ‘heal’ for a couple of days, plant directly into good-quality well-draining potting mix.
Pineapple Tepache Recipe
- 1 pineapple, top, rind and heart only
- 1 litre of filtered water
- 250g brown sugar
- 2-3 cm piece organic ginger, grated
Rinse the pineapple under hot water then cut the top, rind and heart and place in a fermentation jar. Over gentle heat, dissolve the sugar in water then leave to cool.
Pour the liquid into the jar with the pineapple, add grated ginger and stir the mixture well. Secure the lid and airlock then place in a dry and cool place away from direct sunlight for four to five days.
As it begins to ferment, the liquid will turn cloudy, white foam will rise to the top and tiny bubbles start to form.
Skim the foam and discard. At this point, smell and taste the ferment on a daily basis. It should smell like ripe, sweet pineapple – if it’s too pungent and earthy, it may have turned, which can happen if left for too long, where it can quickly turn to vinegar and mould can form.
As well as by taste and smell, you’ll know it’s ready once you see a lot of bubbles forming.
Strain the liquid through a fine strainer lined with a cheesecloth then pour into a clean plastic bottle and secure the lid.
Leave at room temperature for two days, gently opening and closing the lid daily to release the carbon dioxide then store in the fridge. Be aware that one litre can have up to 2-3 percent alcohol content.
Variations & tips
Fermentation times are dependent on the ambient temperature. On hot days, fermentation is much faster than on cold days. If fermentation is happening too fast, place the tepache in the fridge to slow it down.
To make an alcoholic cocktail, add 30ml of white or aged rum in a tall glass with ice cubes before topping with the tepache.