Are you looking for a healthy and fruity drink that’s also tasty? If so, it’s time to try tepache.
Tepache is a fermented, pineapple-infused beverage typically sweetened with brown sugar. The drink originated in Mexico, and it’s easy to prepare using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen!
Read this tepache recipe guide to learn all you need to know about preparing this yummy drink.
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What is Tepache?
Tepache is a fermented Mexican beverage typically served cold. It has a fizzy, effervescent, and tangy flavor like a pineapple beer. Many people find it similar to kombucha. If you travel to Mexico, you can often find street vendors selling this drink. Vendors typically store the drink in barrels to speed up the fermentation process.
When sold on the street, it’s usually served in a clear plastic bag or in a clay mug. You can find this drink sold at traditional Mexican restaurants or juice bars in the US.
The word tepache comes from the Aztec language, and it roughly translates to a “drink made from corn.” While the beverage was originally made from corn, it’s now typically made from pineapple rinds and other spices.
Due to its popularity, the drink is now also being produced commercially as a non-alcoholic beverage. In addition to being delicious, the drink uses parts of the fruit that people would normally throw away, making it a great beverage for those looking to reduce the amount of waste they produce.
Additionally, the fermentation process is quick - it’s much faster to ferment tepache than other popular fermented beverages like kombucha.
The drink is fantastic on its own, as it’s light and refreshing. However, many people like to combine their tepache with other alcoholic beverages, such as beer.
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Ingredients Need to Make Tepache
One of the best things about tepache is that it only requires a few simple ingredients to make. The ingredients include:
- Pineapple Peels: If you want to make your drink as healthy as possible, try to use organic pineapple peels. Other pineapple peels may contain pesticides.
- Water: Plain old tap water will do the trick for your tepache!
- Sugar: Traditionally, this drink is made with piloncillo, a traditional Mexican sugar. This is an unrefined, whole can sugar typically used in Mexican cooking and baking. It’s often referred to as Mexican brown sugar. You can sometimes find this sugar at international or Mexican grocery stores. If you can’t find it, regular brown sugar will do.
Many people also add cinnamon sticks and cloves to their tepache recipes.
How to Make Tepache
To make tepache, follow these steps:
- Gather the ingredients. This includes:
- 4.5 cups of water
- ½ cup brown sugar
- One ripe pineapple
- Four whole cloves
- Two cinnamon sticks
- Remove the tops and peels of the pineapple, leaving about a ½ inch of flesh on each peel.
- Add the brown sugar and a bit of water to a large glass or ceramic jar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the pineapple rinds, then pour in the rest of the water.
- Push down the pineapple peelings so they’re completely submerged in the water.
- Add in the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
- Cover the container loosely with a cheesecloth and place it in a warm spot. Allow the mixture to ferment for 1 to 5 days.
- Do a taste test each day to check the flavor. The longer the tepache ferments, the more sour and fizzy the drink.
Once ready, strain the beverage and serve it over ice. You can store your tepache in the refrigerator for up to a year. You can also serve it as a cocktail if you wish!
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Tepache Frequently Asked Questions
Fermenting tepache can involve a bit of trial and error, so it’s normal to have some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about making tepache:
Why isn’t the tepache bubbling?
If your tepache isn’t bubbling, you first need to be patient. Remember, the fermentation process can take up to five days! It may also be because the yeast isn’t activating. This can happen when you submerge the pineapple under hot water, which can kill the yeast. It may also be because the pineapple you used wasn’t ripe enough.
You can add a little more sugar to the bottle to help the yeast activate.
Does tepache contain alcohol?
Tepache contains about 2% ABV, though it can be less or more depending on how long you ferment it. Longer fermentation will result in higher alcohol content.
Does tepache have any health benefits?
Yes! Tepache is a probiotic, and probiotics have many health benefits. Some of which include:
- Improved digestion
- Weight loss
- Better skin
- Relief from IBS and other digestive disorders
- Immunity boosting
- Improved mental health
How do I store the tepache?
You should store your tepache in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Just be aware that the flavor will become more yeasty over time.
What temperature is best for my tepache?
Tepache typically ferments between 60-85°F. For the best-tasting tepache, you should aim for a temperature between 75-80°F.
Can I use a metal container?
It is best to avoid storing your tepache in a metal container. This is because the acidity in the beverage can negatively interact with the metal, producing an odd flavor. Glass or ceramic jars are best for brewing and storing your tepache.
Tepache is the perfect refreshing beverage for those who love pineapple and are looking to turn their pineapple rinds into something useful! Because it’s a probiotic drink, tepache is also great for your health.
If you’re looking for other healthy and delicious probiotic beverages, check out our selection!