Tasty Tepache for a Happy Belly

[Traditional Mexican recipe adapted from my friend and colleague Torin Murphy]


  • 1 ripe pineapple (whole)
  • 1 gallon filtered/dechlorinated water
  • 1 piloncillo cone (available from Mexican grocery) OR 1 cup brown sugar OR 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole cloves (alternative: spicebush berries)
  • Optional: 1 dehydrated chile (chile de Arbol or another of your choice)
  • Utensils:
    • Chopping knife
    • Grater (if using piloncillo)
    • Large container (glass jar, crock, clay pot, or food-grade bucket) with large mouth (better for stirring) 
    • Clean dry breathable towel, cheesecloth or nut milk bag
    • Strainer + funnel
    • Glass jar or bottle


  1. Chop the pineapple, enjoy the fruit or put it aside (you can just use the skin, core–all the pieces you don’t eat except for the leafy top…don’t use that).
  2. Grate the piloncillo to powder (if using).
  3. Crush the whole cloves with the butt of your chef’s knife (or a mortar and pestle), and chop the chile (if using).
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a large container.
  5. Cover with a clean breathable cloth towel (or cheesecloth/ nut milk bag), and stir three times a day until you see some nice active fermentation going (bubbles).
  6. Strain into a glass container using a strainer + funnel when the fermentation is doing well (usually 2 to 3 days).
  7. Store in the fridge. Enjoy your treat by itself, or as an add-on to beer or a club soda beverage.


Pro Tips:

There are no real rules as to fermentation time.

Traditionally, this beverage is usually consumed right away, but you can ferment it for a few more days to get a higher level of alcohol (you may even choose to add beer to it!).

Don’t wait too long, though, as eventually it will turn to vinegar (about 1 week, or less in a warmer environment)…which is still delicious (strain + store in room temperature, use as you would any other vinegar)!

Other substitutions can create many different variations of this recipe. Ex: ginger root, hawthorn berries, wine berries, pomegranate, elderberries instead of pineapple

-add botanicals (dry or tinctured) for extra medicinal properties


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