Tepache Recipe

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Photo by Ali Donzé Photography

 This sweet and sour beverage is often served over ice in a glass with a chile and salt rim. It’s also a great mixer and pairs perfectly with rum and mescal.

Ferment: Bacterial/Yeast
Prep: 10 minutes
Time: 2 to 3 days
Yield: 3 quarts (3l)

The pineapple base can be varied and adapted using different fruit and spice combinations. Try adding tamarind, whole sugar cane pieces, guava, orange slices, or hibiscus flowers.

You Will Need

  • 1 whole pineapple
  • 1 large piloncillo (solid unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 4 whole cloves
  • 3 quarts (3l) water
  • 1 1-gallon (4l) jar

Photo by Adobe Stock


  1. Remove the pineapple rind and cut the fruit from core. Save the rind and core, setting aside the fruit for another use.
  2. Place pineapple rind and core in a 1-gallon (4l) glass jar or pitcher.
  3. Add piloncillo, cinnamon, and cloves. Add water to cover, leaving 2 to 3 inches (5-7.5cm) of headspace at the top of the jar.
  4. Cover mouth of jar with fabric and secure with rubber band. Ferment at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Stir twice a day and taste. When satisfied with the level of fermentation, strain the tepache and refrigerate.

In Mexico, beer is often added to tepache, creating a refreshing alcoholic beverage. Try adding a Mexican lager to your tepache after the second day of fermenting.

Fermenting Food Step by Step shows you how to master the fermenting process with more than 80 step-by-step recipes – plus you’ll learn about the history and processes of fermentation throughout. For thousands of years, cultures around the world have practiced fermenting as a way to preserve food, and its health benefits now are at your fingertips. Adam Elabd includes more than 80 recipes covering fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy, breads and grains, and even beverages like kombucha. From pickles and sauerkraut to kefir and yogurt smoothies to sausages and corned beef, every meal and snack is delectable.

Excerpted from Fermenting Food Step by Step, reprinted by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2015 by Adam Elabd. Photos by © Ali Donzé Photography.

Inspiration for edible alchemy.