Tepache

Tepache

By
From
Pickled
Makes
1 × 2 litres jar

by Missy Flynn, Bar Boss & Owner of Rita’s

Missy Flynn is the ultimate #girlboss! She works hard, plays hard, runs her own restaurant, makes killer drinks, oh, and she’s a TOTAL hottie. Both she and I are obsessed with everything Mexican, which she channels into some of the best drinks I’ve ever had, such as this tepache – a fermented fruit-rind drink (traditionally pineapple) that has its origins deep in Mexican history. Missy says, ʻMy first experience of tepache was seeing it served in little plastic bags off the side of the road in Mexico. There’s not much alcohol in it from the natural fermentation but you can’t help feel a little badass walking around in the sun drinking a bag of fermented pineapple funk. It’s insanely refreshing and pops up everywhere in Mexico. From horchata to agua de jamaica and all kinds of fruit frescas and paletas, I love the way Mexicans turn local fresh fruit, herbs and spices into delicious coolers that taste best when you stumble upon them on street carts.ʼ

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 large ripe pineapple, thoroughly washed, leaves and base removed
500g piloncillo or soft light brown sugar
1 dried ancho chilli, toasted
6 whole black peppercorns
1 large cinnamon stick

Method

  1. Prepare your pineapple. Cut away the rind from the flesh and slice the pineapple in half. Remove the core and slice the rind into 2½ cm thick strips. Roughly chop the core, and discard/eat the flesh.
  2. Place the rinds into a 2 litre capacity, clean jar with the sugar. The sweetness of this drink depends entirely on taste but using the same weight of sugar as the weight of the pineapple rinds and core works for good balance. Mix these up so the sugar coats all of the pineapple.
  3. Add the toasted ancho chilles and 1½ litres of filtered water in a pan. Add the peppercorns and cinnamon, and heat gently for about 3–5 minutes to make a lukewarm spiced tea. Do not let it boil.
  4. Take off the heat and pour the liquid into the jar, along with the spices. Give it a stir then cover the jar with muslin. Secure with butcher’s string and set aside somewhere warm for 24 hours. The fermentation occurs due to the reaction between the natural yeast and sugar in the fruit and the brown sugar. The time it will take to ferment can vary, but after 24 hours, check the jar and skim off any white froth on the top. Bubbles will tell you if it’s come to life!
  5. Leave to ferment for a further 12 hours, or until bubbles are more prominently visible on the surface. Over-fermenting will make a bitter vinegar, so at this stage, strain the mixture through a fine sieve, discard the fruit rind and the spices and pour the liquid back into the jar. Reseal and let it sit overnight at room temp.
  6. Refrigerate for up to 1 week and serve neat, or use in the recipe for Tepache-ilada, or mix 2 parts Tepache with 1 part sparkling water. Serve chilled over ice.
Tags:
pickles
kimchi
fermenting
ferments
vinegar
sides
condiments
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