Tepache Ginger Beer
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Let's take a look at one of the most common Tiki ingredients around. Pineapples! 🍍 Pineapples are a common cocktail and mocktail ingredient because of their distinct flavor.
They're sweet, fruity, tart, and unlike any other fruit out there!
The juice is used in a variety of cocktails, but the pulp, skin, and leaves are usually thrown out.
Let's take a look at how we can re-utilize the skins! But first...
What is Tepache?
Also known as 'Tepache de Pina', this is a refreshing fermented drink made from the uneaten leftovers of fresh pineapple.
Some people use the fruit itself as well, but it's much more sustainable to consume the flesh and reuse the leftover skins and core for drinks.
Although fermentation transforms sugars into alcohol, Tepache has extremely low levels of alcohol, making it nearly impossible to get intoxicated from it.
Rather than being an alcoholic drink, it's more of a probiotic beverage that is very healthy and great for the gut.
On top of that, I've added ginger to the tepache because well...pineapple and ginger work amazingly well together! 😉
Giving this tepache a spicy ginger kick to it along with extra C02 will make it taste like a fruity yet tart ginger beer. Perfect for non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails like Moscow Mules and Whisky Gingers.
The Process and What You'll Need
The Skins of the pineapple actually have lots of natural yeast sticking to them. This makes it very easy to create fermented beverages out of them. The yeast will help transform the sugars of the fruit into a very tart yet refreshing drink to sip on with ice.
Fermentation will add some carbonation to the tepache as well, but to get it super carbonated you'll have to add some extra CO2 using a Siphon or a Sodastream.
To make your Ginger Tepache you'll need:
- 1 whole Pineapple (only skins and core)
- 40g of Ginger
- 1.5L of Water
- 100g of Brown Sugar or 200ml of Agave/Maple Syrup
To make your Ginger Beer Tepache:
- Seltz Siphon or Sodastream
- CO2 Chargers
Start by grabbing your pineapple and washing it.
Remove the entire crown of the pineapple. Unfortunately, the leaves can't be used for making tepache. They will give off a bad bitter taste.
If you don't have a pineapple peeler, then you'll have to slice everything by hand.
Slice off the top and bottom of the pineapple to make it easier to cut off the entire skin.
Once cut and saved, slice your skins off making sure to remove even what we call the 'eyes' of the pineapple which are a bit prickly to eat.
Save the skins and eyes and put them in a pot.
Next, you'll be left with just the pineapple fruit, but it's time to remove the core.
Slice the entire fruit in half and quarter it.
Once quartered, remove the core until you have 4 pieces. Dice them up and place them in the pot along with the skins and eyes.
Save the rest of your fruit for eating or for juicing.
Measure out about 40g of whole ginger. Once measured, chop it up into pieces and place everything in the pot of pineapple skins.
Don't worry about peeling it! The ginger skin will add some color as well as spicy notes to our tepache. You wouldn't want that to go to waste as well right?
Once you have everything in a pot, add 1.5L of Water and bring everything to a boil.
Once it arrives at a boil, lower it and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Once finished, let it cool but immediately add in your 100g of Brown sugar while it's still hot so it can dissolve.
NOTE: if you want to make Tepache the traditional way, add Piloncillo instead of Brown Sugar. Piloncillo is unrefined whole cane sugar used in Mexican cuisine which is supposed to be healthier than regular sugar and tastes delicious. See if you can get your hands on it!
Remember that you can play with your types of sugar here. I made my Tepache with a 1:1 ratio of Agave and Maple syrup and poured 200ml of the mixture as shown in the photo above.
Once you've added your sweetener, mix everything up, and cover your pot with a towel, cloth, or paper towel to prevent dust particles from falling in.
Put it somewhere in a dark cool area and leave to ferment. Now it's only a matter of time.
Let it Ferment
Leave your tepache to ferment somewhere between 3 to 5 days. Check on it every once in a while and taste it as well.
The time it takes to ferment and flavor will change depending on a number of factors like: surrounding temperature, quality of the pineapple, ripeness, quality of the water that you're using, and much more.
I didn't let mine get too frothy looking because the taste already reached the right amount of tartness on the 3rd day. You can still notice some froth on the right-hand photo above.
Once you like the taste of it, bottle it up in a flip-top bottle, and stick it in the fridge! The lack of oxygen and the cold temperature of the fridge will keep it from fermenting.
Letting it sit for longer will build up carbonation, so remember to burp it every 2 days.
If you wait 2 weeks to a month you'll see it gain more bubbles, transforming more into a soda!
Carbonate Even Further
If you don't feel like waiting weeks or months for the Tepache to build up carbonation, or you need more bubbles in it for your cocktails, simply carbonate it using any kind of Sodastream or Siphon.
If your Tepache is already very carbonated proceed with caution.
If you are using a Seltz Siphon like in this photo, be sure to use CO2 chargers.
Don't fill up the Siphon to the maximum capacity, you want to leave space just in case it bubbles over.
Start with 1 charge and taste it.
If you want it even more bubbly, go with 2 charges.
The final result will be a delicious Tepache Ginger Beer unlike any kind of drink you've had before, with an amazing frothy head!
Super tasty on its own and perfect with: Vodka, Rum, Whisky and Tequila just to name a few.
Try this super simple variation of a Moscow Mule using a leftover Tin Can instead of a Mule Mug!
Along with that I've opted to use Hay Straws! A 100% Natural, Biodegradable, and Gluten Free straw that never gets soggy!
The one I'm using in the photo here is the Stir Stick which is so durable that you can even stir a drink with ice in it!
Sustainable Tepache Mule
Glassware: Reusable Tin Cup
Garnish: Basil Leaves or even better...Pineapple Leaves!
Sustainable Straw: HAY STRAW!
- 45ml Vodka
- Fill with Tepache Ginger Beer
- Lime Juice (Optional depending on taste)
This is a refreshing and tart drink because of the Tepache. Your recipe may have varied based on time of fermentation, temperature or carbonation.
With that being said, taste your drink and decide if it needs lime juice for acidity or sugar syrup for more sweetness. And remember to use any leftover cans as your glassware! ♻️