Drinks,  Vegan

Tepache: a naturally fermented pineapple drink

Tepache is a Mexican drink made of pineapple, cinnamon, cloves and a special kind of brown sugar called “piloncillo”. As the title says, it is a naturally fermented drink, which means you “brew” it using the wild yeasts and bacterias present on the pineapple’s rind. No commercial or brewers yeasts are involved here. Once you put all the ingredients together, the process is in Mother Nature’s hands. 

And this is the beauty of fermented drinks: to see how a product changes in front of your eyes, without you doing nothing. It’s like a science experiment but for adults. Everything is 100% natural but, beware! Fermentation can be addictive. If the fermentation bug stings you, you will find yourself stuffing your kitchen with jars, buckets, bottles and some other paraphernalia. 

I started making kombucha at home and before I noticed it, I was experimenting with Kass, ginger bugs, chilli sauces and Tepache. From all of them, Tepache is my favourite. I love the refreshing acidic and sweet taste of this drink; and the mix of cinnamon and cloves makes this drink special, something unexpected and interesting. And then we’ve got the extra point: it’s a healthy drink! The microbes used to make Tepache provide lots of healthy acids and vitamins and boost your immune system. A tasty and healthy drink. What else can you ask for?

Hibiscus & Orange Tepache. Tasted like Spanish Sangria!

A bit of -speculative- history

Originally, corn was the main ingredient in Tepache. In fact, its name means “drink made from corn” in Nahuatl. I guess it was a kind of corn beer for the ancient Aztecs but it got lost. Maybe Castilian priests were not happy with the natives making and getting inebriated with their own drink instead of Catholic wine. 

Somehow, in a certain point of the history, someone discovered the popularity of the old brand “Tepache” and decided to reboot the drink, leaping the prohibition of using corn by making pineapple its main ingredient, adding nun’s ingredients as cinnamon and cloves, shortening the fermentation time to 3-5 days and telling the priests: “Hey, bruv! Sorry, father. Father, I know your concerns about the Tepache those old crazy indians used to make. But this is different. You don’t get drunk, so people will stay in order; and the spices we are using will remind people of Christmas, the birth of Jesuschrist our Lord and Savior, instead of their old fake gods. The name? It’s still popular between people, so we are branding our new drink with it to gain their acceptance”.

And this is how modern Tepache was born* and made one of the most popular drinks in Mexico. That marketer, that pioneer was right: 1) Although some alcohol occurs during the fermentation, its level is very low, so you don’t get drunk; and 2) Tepache has got a Christmassy taste, for those who don’t do Mexican sweets. What that marketer didn’t mention in his/her speech is that Tepache is also a zero waste drink, as pineapple rinds are one of the main ingredients. 

We love Tepache

And because of these reasons Tepache will be in our drinks menu. We want to offer people a soft drink that is refreshing, tasty, healthy and compliments spicy food with tropical flavours. Tepache is Mexico in a liquid state, are you ready to go with the flow?

*I hope you understand this is just a joke. 
Photo by Sumner Mahaffey on Unsplash


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