Basic Pineapple Tepache Recipe

Capture the essence of summer with this practical recipe for pineapple tepache. Use tepache in piña colada for a delightful twist on an old favorite.

| August 2019

Image by stokpic from Pixabay 

This sweet, bubbly and fragrant drink is supremely hydrating and evokes the feeling of being on a tropical island with the sun on your back and the salt in your hair. Try to catch the ferment just in time – the longer it ferments, the more alcohol it will produce and it could turn vinegary and a little viscous.

Preparation time: 15 minutes Fermentation time: 2–10 days Difficulty: Easy Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 2 months Makes: About 2 quarts (2 liters)


  • 2 quarts (2 liters) filtered water or spring water
  • 1 cup (220 g) raw sugar or 1 cup (185 g) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 pineapple


Primary Fermentation

  1. Bring 1 cup (250 ml) of the filtered water to the boil. Add the sugar to a heatproof 2-quart (2 liter) wide-mouth glass jar. Pour in the boiling water and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add enough of the remaining filtered water to three-quarters fill the jar and set aside to cool.
  2. Wash the outside of the pineapple. Using a sharp knife, cut off the pineapple skin, leaving a little flesh attached. Add the pineapple skins to the sugar-water solution and stir vigorously. Top up with filtered water to fill the jar, if necessary, then stir again. Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
  3. Place the jar out of direct sunlight in a warm spot and leave to ferment for 1 to 7 days, depending on the temperature. If it’s very hot, check after 12 hours as that may be sufficient time for fermentation to take effect. Give the tepache a vigorous stir each day and check the taste. If the pineapple skins have popped out of the liquid, push them back down to reduce the chance of the tepache becoming moldy.


  1. Remove and discard the pineapple skins and skim off any foam and scum from the top of the tepache.
  2. Put a funnel in the opening of a 1-quart (1 liter) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of the funnel. Pour half the tepache into the bottle through the strainer. Repeat with a second 1-quart (1 liter) bottle and the remaining tepache.

Secondary Fermentation

Tightly seal the bottle lids and leave the bottles on the counter to build carbonation. This could take 1 to 3 days, depending on the temperature. “Burp” the tepache daily to release some pressure by opening the lids slightly and then tightening them again. Depending on the residual sugars and the fermentation activity, pressure can build significantly. In order to prevent an explosion, test the fizz every couple of days.

Drink Up

When the tepache is as fizzy as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.

Tip: For a truly delicious and grown-up drink, use the pineapple tepache in place of pineapple juice in your next piña colada.



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