Fermented drinks are sold most everywhere in Mexico. Usually on street corners under bright colored tarps. Most places will have a local specialty as well. Guadalajara has Tejuino, made from fermented corn, other areas have Colonche, which is made from the juice of the prickly pear and of course the king of homemade fermented Mexican bevereges, pulque.
One of the most popular drinks found and most common in Mexico City is Tepache. An ancient drink made from pineapple and allowed to ferment for a few days, this drink has a nice “fizz” from the carbonation and a sweet taste. Its simple to make and an absolute pleasure to drink. Ferment and Enjoy!
yield: 1 gallon
1 pineapple,washed, cubed, reserve rind*
2 1/2 piloncillo cones (Mexican raw sugar*)
8 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tamarind pod
1 orange, washed and halved*
Cut the rind from the pineapple and cut into chunks/cubes. It will be pureed in the blender so no need to be precise in the cuts. Place in a blender with 1/2 cup water and puree until smooth and no chunks remain.
Make the sugar syrup:
In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup water and piloncillo, bring to a boil, then simmer to dissolve sugar. Let cool, cover and store in the refrigerator.
In a large 1 gallon jar, add pineapple puree, pineapple rind, squeeze each half of the orange and add the orange rind, cinnamon stick, and tamarind pod.
Add 4 cups water to the jar and its contents.
Put the lid on loosely (remove the rubber ring) and store in a cool, dark spot to ferment for 2 days**.
after the 2 days, add sugar syrup, mix with a wooden spoon, cover and let sit for another 2 days.
After 2 days, strain through cheesecloth and refrigerate. When it is cold, it’s ready to consume.
*Use organic pineapple and orange if you can because you will be using the rinds.
**Within the first 24 hours, fermentation will be visible with tiny bubbles on the surface. The addition of sugar syrup is going to accelerate the fermentation.