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Tepache – a bubbling pineapple drink made from the peel!

For New Year’s Eve, I made a dessert with caramelized pineapple and homemade ice cream and was thinking if you could do something with the peel. After spending some time on Google, I found Tepache, a Mexican bubbly pineapple drink made on the shell. So exciting that I immediately went to work! Do you also want to try? Cool!

At the moment I’m at home and revising after a hip operation, in other words I’m not working very much and that is of course a good combination with al the restrictions due to Covid-19.
On the other hand, nothing can keep me away from the kitchen! It is great with some extra time to just experiment and do exactly as you want it sometimes.

So in my kitchen right now, everything is bubbling! I have a wild yeast getting ready and three kinds of sourdough (here you find older recipe for a gluten-free bread that I made with the wild yeast) , pickled red peppers and grapes and of course my Tepache. My husband claims that it is life threatening to go into the kitchen at the moment because of all the fermentation going on. What a ridiculous thing to say!😁
… It may have something to do with previous experiments were an explosion actually took place when making my wild yeast … Haha!
I told him he could find someone else to marry if he was afraid of my experimentation in the kitchen. The kitchen is and remains my domain and NO ONE can stop me there!

Now more about the Tepache. The drink consists of pineapple peel, water and brown sugar. Yes, it’s that simple, which also makes it extra fun to experiment with!
How does it work? Well, on the peel of the pineapple there are wild yeasts (as on several other fruits) and when you combine it with sugar, water and time, amazing things happen!
I first made a fairly neutral version of the drink where I just added a whole cinnamon stick as seasoning.
When I was happy with the result after a few days, I filtered my first batch, rinsed out of the jar and then added another 2 tablespoons of raw sugar  (to give a little extra boost to the fermentation again) and the already used pineapple plus coarsely crushed cardamom and turmeric powder. I loosely covered it and placed the pot warm and waited a few more days before I filtered the new batch. The result: a sparkling tasty drink for the summer with lots of ice and fresh lime!

Before I made the photo shoot for this post, I tried a third seasoning. From the first batch, I poured off half of it and flavored it with a strawberry tea with fresh hibiscus.
In addition to the beautiful color it got, it also turned out really good!
There are so many different varieties with seasonings that you can think of; spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper, etc.) or perhaps when serving different fruits (apple, berries of various kinds, orange) and fresh herbs (such as mint, lemon balm, thyme etc). Have also considered making a cocktail with my Tapache but I will come back on that another time…

Basic recipe for Tapache

Will make about half a liter of finished drink

  • The peel of a whole pineapple (you can also bring the hard core in the middle if you want)
  • 1 liter of water (if needed for the taste, bring it to a boil and allow to cool completely before using)
  • 100 grams of brown sugar
  • (possible seasoning such as cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, ginger etc)

How do I do it?
1. Rinse the pineapple in water (not too well though, you still want some yeast left). Peel the pineapple with a knife and save the peel (do something else fun with the pineapple itself!)
2. Put the peels in a glass jar (I took a bottle of one liter first but later replaced it with a jar with a stirrup of 2 liters, recommended!)
3. Add the sugar and water to the jar. Stir with a long wooden spoon or similar until the sugar has melted. Close the bottle / jar with a lid or stirrup.
4. Place the jar in a warm room. Our kitchen is so cold that my jar had to go back and forth to our cookbook library where we light a fire every night and the kitchen. If it is too cold, the fermentation will not start. If it is too hot, the yeast dies. Balance …
5. Open the bottle some every now and then to see (and hear) what is happening. After 36-48 hours, there will be a white foam on top and you will hear a little zzzzzz when you open the the lid. The drink should bubble like a carbonated drink.
6. Strain the fluid into a fine-hollow strainer. Feel free to strain the drink once more in a coffee filter with double coffee filters in to get rid of all the turbidity. Soon time for tasting!
7. Pour the drink into a bottle, preferably in a two-liter bottle that you fill halfway to avoid it exploding from the pressure. I speak from experience, believe me!
8. If you prefer some more carbonation and taste, leave it for another day or two at room temperature. If not, drink it immediately.
It can stand for a few days in the fridge. The drink will have some alcohol in it due toe fermentation. It’s not very high but good to know.
The Tapache taste great with a lot of ice and maybe some chopped lemon, fruit or similar.

This recipe is free of gluten, lactose and nuts.

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