I have been making kombucha in the Urb’n’Spice kitchen for some time now, and as summer approaches, I wanted to try out some other fermented drinks that do not require the more protracted wait times between the first and second fermentations that kombucha requires. Pineapple Tepache (pronounced tay-paw-chay) is a good choice because you can produce a refreshing mildly fermented beverage in three days by using three simple ingredients: the rind of the pineapple, brown sugar (or piloncillo, which is a raw form of pure cane sugar in Mexico) and spices of your choice all combined with filtered water. Pineapple Tepache is considered a non-alcoholic beverage because it has a short fermentation process. The resulting mocktail (an iced drink without alcohol typically made from juice, herbs or spices and soda water) is a satisfying fizzy tropical thirst-quencher, which can be enhanced with a squirt of lime, and sprig of mint and a splash of soda or seltzer or even Prosecco.
Tepache originated in ancient Mexico. The word “Tepache” was a drink made from corn but over time, it has been urbanized and has evolved into two distinct drinks: Tepache and Tejuino. Tepache is a partially fermented drink made from pineapple, water, and brown sugar whereas, Tejuino is a fermented drink made from corn. Tepache is made from the pineapple scraps that would typically be thrown away in the compost. Yeast naturally lives on the peeling of the pineapple and this yeast helps to ferment the tepache, so it is important to consider an organic pineapple if you can.
Pineapple has distinctive properties, including a unique enzyme (found only in pineapple) called bromelain, which aids with digestion. In addition to this, pineapple is a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals; namely, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and a high source of Vitamin C. Minerals in pineapple include thiamine, riboflavin, folate, fibre, magnesium, manganese, potassium, beta-carotene and antioxidants. When you make Tepache, probiotics are generated as part of the fermentation process. All in all, pineapples are delicious, nutritious and make one of the most refreshing summer non-alcoholic drinks that I have ever tasted. Give it a try! You will enjoy it!
Yield: approximately 2 litres of pineapple tepache
You will need:
- 1 organic pineapple
- ½ cup brown sugar (or piloncillo, if you can obtain some)
- 8 cups of filtered water
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, optional
- 1 vanilla bean pod, optional
- 2 litre glass jug (see Chef Tip below)
- Prepare the pineapple: Wash the pineapple well. Peel and core the pineapple and chop both the peelings and core into large chunks. Place the pieces in the glass jug. Cut the remaining pineapple fruit into chunks and place it into the jug. CHEF TIP: A glass jug is used for fermented drinks rather than plastic because it will not react to the acidity of the brew and glass doesn’t contain chemicals like BPA. Glass is not porous or scratch easily like plastic.CHEF TIP: To learn how to cut a pineapple easily, please refer to this YouTube video.
- Add the brown sugar, spices and filtered water.
- Stir the mixture until the brown sugar dissolves.
- Cover the jug with a tightly woven linen towel and fasten the towel around the collar of the jug with an elastic band.
- Place the jug in a cool place away from direct sunlight for 3 days (I put it on a shelf in my closet and close the door.
- The mixture will start to change on the 2ndor 3rdday. A white foam will rise to the surface of the tepache and the mixture will become cloudy. This is all part of the fermentation process.
- Remove this harmless white foam that forms and leave the mixture to ferment for another day.
- Strain the mixture, refrigerating the liquid (tepache). Now separate the pineapple peelings from the pineapple fruit. Reserve the pineapple fruit and refrigerate it for use in fruit smoothies, or on top of yogurt or use it to make this delicious caramelized pineapple with pistachios, lime and coconut. #ontheblog
- Discard or compost the pineapple peelings. CHEF TIP: The core of the pineapple will be soft enough to eat as well after its 3-day fermentation process.
- Serve the chilled Pineapple Tepache over ice with a sprig of mint, a slice of lime and a little soda water to taste – or enjoy it on its own. It is delicious!
Dried Pineapple Garnish: If you would like the make the pineapple garnish as shown in the photograph, this is how you do it:
- Once the pineapple is peeled, slice very thin slices across the top of the pineapple.
- Place the slices on a Silpat sheet or parchment paper on a baking tray and dry the garnish in a slow oven (170°F) until dried out; or alternatively, place the pineapple slices in the oven overnight with the oven light on to dry out.
- Garnish the drink with a sprig of mint and a slice of dried pineapple.
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If you try this recipe for Pineapple Tepache, please leave me a comment below with your feedback. Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!
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