Tepache (Fermented Pineapple Drink) Recipe

Of all the fermented beverages out there, from the ever-popular beer to the more recently trendy kombucha, it's likely that tepache isn't the first one to come to mind. If you're a fan of pineapple and crisp, refreshing beverages, however, then this classic Mexican refreshment will most likely become your new favorite fermented drink — especially after following this recipe, courtesy of developer Catherine Brookes. "I love the tangy, slightly sweet taste of this drink," Brookes describes. She also notes that much like kombucha, tepache comes with some added perks: "Being packed with probiotics and vitamins, it also has some great health benefits."

It's actually quite easy to brew your own batch of tepache right at home, as long as you've got a bit of patience. With just five ingredients — one of them being water — you can make this pineapple beverage from scratch, one that Brookes describes as being "tangy, sweet and slightly bitter, almost like a light cider." It is worth noting that, because of the fermentation process that this drink goes through, your end-result tepache will likely be slightly alcoholic. If you keep your fermentation period to three days, as Brookes does in this recipe, then the alcohol content will be negligibly low, leaving you with a refreshing, tangy beverage ideal for summer sipping.

Gather the ingredients for tepache

The ingredients list is pretty minimal for this beverage. For starters, you'll need a pineapple, though keep in mind that you only need the rind and core for this recipe — use the flesh for a different recipe, or simply slice it up and enjoy it as a snack. You'll also need 6 cups of water, light brown sugar (or piloncillo), a cinnamon stick, and some fresh, sliced ginger. "Adding the cinnamon and ginger gives the drink that extra element of sweet, spicy flavor," says Brookes.

Prep the pineapple

Because we'll be using the pineapple skin for this recipe, make sure that it's thoroughly washed before jumping into the recipe. Once the pineapple is clean, slice off the crown, followed by the skin. Slice all of the flesh, then set it aside to use later as desired. Finally, you'll be left with the core, which you'll also use in this recipe — simply cut it into chunks.

Combine the ingredients then let the drink ferment

In a large bowl or pot, add the 6 cups of water and brown sugar and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Next up, add the slices of pineapple skin, chunks of the core, cinnamon stick, and sliced ginger. Cover the bowl loosely with a towel then leave it in a dark room for 48 hours to ferment. Resist the urge to check on the tepache during that 48 hours — it's truly best just to leave it alone and trust that the fermentation process is working.

Strain the tepache and ferment for another day

After 48 hours, remove the towel from the bowl — you should notice a white froth forming on the surface of the liquid, which means that you're ready to stain. Use a large mesh colander or strainer to separate the liquid from the pineapple chunks. Transfer the liquid to an airtight bottle or jar, and discard the pineapple, cinnamon stick, and ginger. 

Be careful to leave a couple of inches of space at the top of the jar, as the gas will need space as it builds up (and we don't want any exploding jars). Seal the jar with the liquid and leave it to ferment for another 24 hours. At that point, open up the container — you should hear the sound of the gas releasing — and give the tepache a taste test. If you like the carbonation level, then transfer the jar to the fridge so the tepache will stop fermenting. If you want it to be fizzier, leave the tepache to ferment for another 12 to 24 hours. "Stopping the fermentation process earlier will simply result in a less carbonated drink," Brookes explains. It all comes down to personal preference!

Enjoy the tepache chilled

Once you're satisfied with the tepache's carbonation level, give it a chance to cool down in the fridge. Alternatively, you can serve the tepache with some ice. "The tepache is great enjoyed over ice on a hot day," Brookes says. And, if you want to play up the boozy aspect of the drink, Brookes notes that it "pairs well with many alcoholic mixers such as rum, vodka, and gin." 

Any leftover tepache will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Like any bubbly beverage, it will start to lose carbonation after that period of time, but something tells us that your home-fermented tepache will be long gone before it gets to that point.

Tepache (Fermented Pineapple Drink) Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
Try out this tangy and sweet Mexican fermented beverage that's made from pineapple, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
Prep Time
Cook Time
glasses of tepache with straws
Total time: 72 hours, 15 minutes
  • 1 large ripe pineapple
  • 6 cups water
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar (or piloncillo)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-inch chunk fresh ginger, sliced
  1. Cut the crown off of the pineapple and wash the skin thoroughly. Slice off the skin, then the flesh. Dice the core into chunks. Set the pineapple flesh aside for another use.
  2. Add the water and brown sugar to a large bowl or pot and stir well until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add the pineapple skin and core to the bowl along with the cinnamon stick and ginger pieces.
  4. Cover loosely with a towel and leave in a dark park at room temperature for 48 hours.
  5. Once the tepache is ready to strain, you'll see some white froth appearing on the surface of the liquid. Strain out the liquid (discarding the pineapple and spices) and transfer it to an airtight bottle or jar. Make sure to leave a good few inches of space in the container as the gas will need somewhere to go as it builds up. Seal and leave to ferment for another 24 hours. This stage will make the drink more carbonated.
  6. Open the airtight container and you should hear a release of gas. Taste to see if your desired level of carbonation has been reached. If so, store it in the fridge to stop the fermentation process. Alternatively, leave to ferment for another 12 to 24 hours until the desired taste is achieved.
  7. The chilled tepache will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.
Calories per Serving 166
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Total Sugars 36.2 g
Sodium 16.8 mg
Protein 1.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe