Authentic Tepache Recipe: Homemade Fermented Pineapple Drink from Mexico

Authentic Tepache Recipe: Homemade Fermented Pineapple Drink from Mexico

Discover the magic of tepache, a bubbly and refreshing Mexican drink made from pineapple scraps, piloncillo, and aromatic spices.

Tepache is a delightful fermented beverage that transforms pineapple peels and cores into a tangy, slightly alcoholic drink. This ancient recipe, originally made with corn, has evolved to showcase the tropical sweetness of pineapple. With its complex flavors reminiscent of cider or sour beer, tepache offers a unique taste experience that’s both refreshing and intriguing.

The beauty of tepache lies in its simplicity and sustainability. By using pineapple scraps that might otherwise be discarded, you’re not only creating a delicious drink but also reducing food waste. The fermentation process, driven by wild yeasts naturally present on the fruit’s skin, creates a fizzy, probiotic-rich beverage that’s both flavorful and beneficial for gut health.

This recipe combines traditional ingredients like piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar) and cinnamon with a twist of ginger and cloves for added depth. The result is a perfectly balanced drink with notes of caramel, earthiness, and a gentle tang that’s ideal for sipping on warm days or as a unique cocktail mixer.


  • 10 cups (2.3L) filtered water
  • 1 pound (455g) panela or piloncillo, roughly chopped
  • Skins and cores of 2 ripe pineapples (about 28 ounces, 793g total)
  • Two 3-inch knobs fresh ginger (75g), washed well and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (14g)
  • 1 tablespoon (7g) whole cloves


  1. Begin by creating a sugar syrup. Heat the filtered water in a 4-quart saucepan until it simmers. Remove from heat and stir in the panela or piloncillo until completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a clean 1-gallon (4L) glass jar or non-reactive container, combine the pineapple skins and cores, sliced ginger, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the ingredients, ensuring everything is fully submerged.
  3. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel, securing it with a rubber band. This allows air circulation while keeping out unwanted debris. Store the jar at room temperature (70-78°F/21-25°C), away from direct sunlight.
  4. Stir the mixture once daily. Within 24 hours to several days, you should see a thin layer of frothy white bubbles forming on the surface and hear a faint fizzing sound. This indicates that fermentation is underway.
  5. Taste the tepache once bubbles have formed. It should have a sweet, earthy, and slightly funky flavor. If you prefer a stronger taste, continue fermenting for another 1-2 days.
  6. When the tepache reaches your desired flavor profile, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pitcher, discarding the solids. Your tepache is now ready to enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

Serve your homemade tepache at room temperature, chilled, or over ice. For an extra kick, add a splash of tequila or mezcal. A wedge of fresh lime can enhance the flavors beautifully.

Optional Carbonation

To create a fizzy tepache soda:

  1. Thoroughly clean and dry four 16-ounce (1-pint) flip-top glass bottles.
  2. Using a funnel, fill each bottle with tepache, leaving about 3 inches of headspace.
  3. Seal the bottles and store at room temperature (70-78°F/21-25°C) until you see small bubbles rising rapidly to the top.
  4. Once carbonated to your liking, refrigerate the bottled tepache for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

If piloncillo is unavailable, you can substitute with other unrefined brown sugars like panela, jaggery, or muscovado. For an extra funky flavor, use overripe pineapples with yellow-orange to orange skins and a slightly vinegary aroma.

Storage Tips

Tepache can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Keep in mind that it will continue to ferment slowly in the fridge, developing a funkier, more vinegary taste over time.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
182 Calories
0g Fat
47g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 182
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 23mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 84mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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