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This super simple fermented drink is worth the wait for fermentation to transform the often discarded pineapple rind into a refreshing drink.

From the book


Every time I have a bottle of tepache ready, I become a little sad, as I know I’ll drink it all before I realize I must start making another bottle, and then I’ll have to wait for it to be ready. Cutting it with beer makes it last twice as long, but maybe you should just make a double batch. You can make a banana version by substituting the cinnamon and cloves with a tablespoon of dried tamarind pulp (mash this in with the sugar water while it’s warm) and a thoroughly washed ripe banana skin (without the stem).

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100g panela/piloncillo (or dark brown sugar)
1 ripe pineapple
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick

Essential kit

You will need: a large (minimum 1.5l) jar and a large (minimum 1.5l) bottle.


Time / 3–7 days

Yield / 1.25 litres tepache

Heat 1.2 litres of water in a pan with the sugar until it is dissolved, then leave it to cool until it’s just lukewarm.

Remove the leaves and base from the pineapple, then peel it, keeping its rind in long strips, and remove the core. Wedge the core and strips of rind into the jar so they’ll stay submerged – arranging them in horizontal stripes around the sides of the jar works well. (Keep the pineapple for another use.) Add the spices, then pour over the sugar water, making sure all the fruit is fully covered in liquid, and seal the jar.

Leave to ferment in a warm spot (around 22°C) for 2–6 days, checking once a day until you see evidence of fizzing (be careful on opening, it can be very vigorous). Once fermentation is under way, try the tepache daily until it is to your liking (it’s likely to take around 3–4 days total unless it’s <18°C), and then strain into the bottle, being sure to leave a couple of centimetres at the top, and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so, but open it every so often (over a sink!) to stop it getting too fizzy.

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From the book: Of Cabbages and Kimchi: A Practical Guide to the World of Fermented Food

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