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I love pineapple! Just the thought of it takes me right back to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Hawaii… Fun times! This sun filled fruit is not only great in piña coladas, but in rice dishes, soups, upside down cakes, fresh slices for breakfast… Whenever I remove the skin, I always feel a little guilty to throw away all the peel and core (even if we end up adding it to our compost pile).

Pineapple peel

So you can imagine my joy when I found out that I could use the pineapple peel and the core to the make the most delightful fermented drink called Tepache. It is said to have originated in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, by Aztecs and Mayans. It was made originally made with maize (corn) but when Spaniards brought pineapple to Mexico, it became a staple and replaced maize in this traditional beverage.

Process of fermentation

I have over the years experimented with all kinds of fermented drinks, including Kombucha. The process is simple but you have to be patient, make sure to use sterilized containers, have proper ventilation, not too hot, not too cold. Fermentation is a wonderful living process that everyone should try at least once! Some take a little longer than other, like making vinegar from apple peel for example (prepare and forget about it for several months). Some, like Tepache, happens in a matter of a few days! That’s what I call instant gratification! It is the perfect one for beginners! You can’t mess it up!

Remove pesticides

It is best to use an organic pineapple but if you can’t (I couldn’t find one), there is a simple way to remove pesticides from any fruit or vegetable. Mix 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of baking soda with a cup of water. Pour into a spray bottle.  You can also use more water and dunk the pineapple then rinse it.

Making the syrup

Tepache is usually sweetened with piloncillo, a type of Mexican brown cane sugar that doesn’t contain molasses. You can buy it in the ethnic section of most grocery stores.

It is more natural than regular sugar and comes in little hard cones that can be grated or chopped into smaller pieces and melted.
Piloncillo has a light notes of burnt caramel, and rum. It is lovely.

Don’t have piloncillo? Just substitute with brown sugar.

First make the syrup by bringing 1 cup of water to a boil and add 1 cup of brown sugar or piloncillo. Stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool down.

Peel the pineapple, remove the core and place the pieces in a sterilized 32 oz mason jar. Combine the cooled down syrup with 5 cups of filtered water. Pour over the peels with the cinnamon stick or powder, and the turmeric (optional).


Cover the jar with a piece of cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band. Set aside in a warm place for 2-3 days. Some foam will form indicating that the fermentation if happening in real time.


You can start drinking it as soon as some bubbles appear but it you wait a few days, the flavors and the fizziness will improve. If you are not sure how long to ferment it, just take a small sip every day until it reaches the right level of sweetness. Once you are happy, drain the liquid into a clean bottle, seal and refrigerate.

Fermented drinks are loaded with enzymes that help digestion so it is best to drink tepache in small batches either before or after a meal. It will be lightly sweetened because most of the sugar has been used in the fermentation process.



Tepache is a naturally fermented pineapple flavored beverage that will cool you down, help digestion and make a great mocktail.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Latino
Servings 6


  • 1 32 oz mason jar
  • 1 quart jar
  • Cheese cloth
  • rubber band


  • 1 pineapple (organic is recommended)
  • 5 cups filtered water


  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup piloncillo or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 stick cinnamon


  • fresh mint leaves
  • pieces of pineapple


  • Sterilize the mason jars with boiling water.

Make the syrup

  • Add 1 cup of piloncillo sugar or brown sugar to 1 cup of filtered water. Bring to a boil, stir and set aside to cool down.
  • Combine the turmeric, cinnamon stick or powder and 5 cups of water.

Prepare the pineapple

  • Remove the skin and core. Place into the jars.
  • Pour the syrup and water over the pineapple peel. Push down the fruit into the liquid.
  • Cover with a piece of cheese cloth and secure with an rubber band.
  • Set on the kitchen counter. After 2-3 days, some foam and bubbles will appear on the surface.
  • Take a sip after that every day until you achieve the perfect level of fizziness and sweetness.


  • Top with a few fresh mint leaves and a piece of pineapple.
Keyword Fermented drink, probiotic




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