Pineapple Tepache (With Variations)

Pineapple tepache recipe

The Spruce / Teena Agnel

  • Total: 20 hrs
  • Prep: 20 hrs
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Ferment: 48 hrs
  • Servings: 31 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
69 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 31
Amount per serving
Calories 69
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 12mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 1g
Calcium 9mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One of the most refreshing beverages in existence is tepache de piña, a slightly fermented drink made from fresh pineapple peel and core plus brown sugar. In addition to its delicious flavor, you’ll love being able to take advantage of parts of the fruit that we usually just throw away. If you need this very Mexican drink for a special occasion, plan ahead of time; tepache takes two or three days to ferment and be ready to drink.


  • ​1 gallon water
  • 1 large cone of​ Piloncillo (about 1 pound, or approximately 1 pound of brown sugar)
  • 1 whole ripe fresh pineapple
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pineapple tepache
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Heat the water in a large pot until it starts to boil. Take the pot off the stove, and add the piloncillo or brown sugar so it will dissolve while we are working with the pineapple. (If you are using piloncillo, the dissolving process will take longer; stir the water occasionally with a wooden spoon and break the piloncillo up as it softens to help this process along.)

    Heat water
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Cut the crown off of the pineapple; discard it or use it to grow a new plant. Wash the outside of the pineapple with water, making sure to get rid of any dirt particles or potential bugs.

    Cut crown off pineapple
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Peel your pineapple. Do this on a cutting board set into the sink to reduce mess. Cut a slice off the top of the fruit, another slice off the bottom, and then slice the peel off in strips -- but use your favorite method, as long as you end up with a peeled pineapple.

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Once the sugar or piloncillo has dissolved into the hot water, place the pieces of peel into the pot. Add the stick of cinnamon.

    Place into peel
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  6. Cut the fruit of the pineapple into slices or chunks, reserving the fibrous core. Store the fruit for another use.

    Cut pineapple
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  7. Add the core, whole or in chunks, to the pot and stir.

    Add the core
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  8. Cover the pot with a dishtowel, and set it on the kitchen counter or another place (at room temperature) where it is easily accessible but out of the way. The towel will keep out any foreign matter while allowing air to reach the mixture, allowing for successful fermentation.

    Cover the pot
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  9. After 24 to 36 hours, check your tepache. If you see a bit of frothy white foam on the surface of the water, it’s fermenting. You can drink it as is, or let it continue to brew another day or so. If you do not see any white froth, cover the pot again and check it after another 24 hours; the time necessary for fermentation will vary according to the temperature, ripeness of the pineapple, and other factors.

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  10. Once your tepache has reached the desired level of fermentation, strain out, and discard all the solids.

    Strain pineapple
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  11. Transfer the liquid to a pitcher and refrigerate. Refrigerated tepache will keep for up to a week, very slowly continuing to ferment more.

    Transfer liquid to container
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  12. Before serving, take a test drink. Add more water or sugar to taste. (We almost always dilute mine with more water.)

    Water, sugar
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  13. Serve over ice, if desired.

    Serve over ice
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Recipe Variations

  • Add a bit of fresh-squeezed lime juice to the final product (either to the pitcher or in individual glasses) to give it an extra-refreshing punch.
  • Add a few whole cloves in addition to the cinnamon to the mixture in the pot for an additional bit of spice.
  • Add chopped fruit (pineapple, apples, etc.) to the pitcher of tepache before drinking—similar to what is done with sangria—for added fun. Serve with a straw and a spoon.