Funky, fermented pineapple wine? Here’s Tio’s recipe for tepache


Tio’s recipe for tepache: the funky, fermented pineapple wine from the streets of Mexico

You’ve made your own bitters, dabbled in shrubs, perhaps even homebrewed once or twice. But have you made your own tepache? The fine folks at Tio’s have.

“Tepache is a fermented Mexican beverage, coming from the fermented skins of the pineapple,” bar manager Alex Gilmour tells us. “Traditionally it was pineapple skins, a bit of the pulp, sugar and hot water, and it was usually piloncillo — it’s like a cane sugar they’d use.”

In Mexico, you’re likely to find the stuff being sold where all the good stuff in Mexico is sold: on the street.

“You’ll find people walking around with carts, and it’ll be toffee apples or icy poles on the top, with a barrel painted with the word tepache,” Gilmour says.


But because you’re fermenting this yourself, you’re going to want to take care with it — and there’s a couple of crucial details involved.


“We drill holes into the ceiling of the bucket (and cover it with a fine mesh) so it lets it aerate and doesn’t explode,” he says. And you want to be sure to scoop any fungus that grows on it off.

“We leave it for a week, then check it, and by that stage the natural yeasts in the air have started to take over and ferment it, it’s started to roll over and getting a nice bubble on — it doesn’t yet have that nice kick to it to have the acidity that you’re looking for,” Gilmour says.

“It’s not supposed to be super-sweet, you’re looking for a vinegar style; from there we usually leave it another seven to 10 days, and scoop off any fungus that’s created.”

Tepache recipe

• 3 pineapples with skins on, cut into long slices and de-cored
• 5 litres boiling water
• 4 cups of brown sugar
• 6 cinnamon quills
• 4 star anise
• 10 allspice nibs, crushed
• 7 cardamom pods, crushed
• 3 lime husks

1. Roast all spices on a hot plate.

2. In a big bucket, add the pineapple, roasted spices, brown sugar and lime husks.

3. Top and cover with boiling water and stir.

4. Cover with filter and lid with holes to allow excess CO2 to escape

5. Leave for 7 days and then stir.

6. Check every three days for another 9 to 12 days, scooping off any dead yeast accumulating at the top.

7. Filter off solids and pass through a cheese cloth.

8. Bottle in 330ml bottle, 300ml Tepache, 30ml blanco tequila or in handled glass build 30ml blanco tequila, fill to half way with tepache, top with ice and garnish with pineapple spears, green straw and lime twist.

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