During there hot summer days, you need a cold drink to refresh yourself, and one of the popular ways to quench your thirst in Mexico is by drinking “Aguas Frescas” . The drinks are prepared with sugar, grains, and the pulp of fruits. The flavors range from Papaya, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Lemon, Orange, Banana, Tepache, Huapilla, Mango, regional plums, horchata, jamaica, cucumbers, well, the list goes on and on. But Tepache is a special drink because you need to wait a few days to actually drink it. Fermentation is the reason behind the waiting period, since you have to allow the sugar and fruit to ferment. The result is a mild homemade brew that can become alcoholic if you let it ferment for a few more days before it becomes vinegar.
|A Tepache Drink Vendor in Mexico City, |
All Rights Reserved Photo used with permission by owner Mototli.
- 1 Ripe Pinapple, or just the peels
- 1 cup of Piloncillo cut in pieces, or use organic sugar
- 1 stick of cinnamon**
- 3 cloves**
- 2 quarts of filtered water
*The quantities in this recipe can be duplicated for a larger amount of Tepache.
** As I mention above, in my hometown and in many homes in Mexico, cooks just prepare the Tepache using only the pineapple peels, water and sugar, but the cinnamon stick and cloves enhance the flavor.
*** This drink used to be fermented in a clay pot but nowadays not everyone has one of those pots. Any glass pitcher does a great job too.
1. Rinse the pineapple and using a sharp knife to cut the peel and slice or chop the pineapple pulp. You are not using all the pineapple unless you have a large glass container to make a bigger batch.
2. In a large glass pitcher, place the pineapple peels, the piloncillo or sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and the 2 quarts of water.
3. Cover the pitcher or glass container with a cheese cloth or a plastic wrap in a loose manner that allows the brew to breath. Place this container in your counter top and let it sit for 24 for hours. (If you do not have A/C and live in a very hot place, then check after 12 hrs.) With a wooden spoon, remove the white foam that has formed on top of the liquid. Loosely cover again an let rest for another 24 to 36 hrs., DO NOT let it ferment longer unless you need pineapple vinegar to make pickled chipotle peppers.
4. And now for the fun part, strain the liquid of your pitcher and place in another pitcher with lots of ice. Taste for sweetness in case it needs more sugar for your taste. If you prefer a milder version, add 1 cup of the fermented pineapple water to 1 quarter of water as it shows in the pictures above. Yes, I drink the light version as you can see.
If you are not drinking or using all the fermented pineapple water after strained, place in a glass container in your refrigerator to enjoy later on.
Have you tried Tepache?