Passion Fruit

Tepache From Yana Volfson

June 20, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.
  • Prep time 72 hours 10 minutes
  • makes 3 quarts
Author Notes

Tepache is a lightly fermented pineapple drink from Mexico, and this recipe comes from the beverage team at contemporary Mexican restaurant Atla in New York City. Once you've combined the ingredients, you want to leave the tepache to do its thing, which is to say, ferment, which is to say that the microbes contained in the yeast that was on the outside of the pineapple will, using the energy they get from the sugar, break down or convert the other contents of this container, producing new flavors as a result. (Phew!)

Depending on the temperature in your home, this may happen in one day (say, if you live in a tropical climate), or three days. A way to gauge: The ideal room temperature for this kind of ferment is somewhere between 65 and 75°F; the tepache tends to reach the right flavor—still sweet, but with some pleasantly sour and funky notes—in three days at that temperature. But really, you’ve got to keep an eye on your tepache. It’s a living, breathing thing! Taste it daily and see how it changes. If you need a visual cue, then it’s usually ready when you start seeing white foam form on the surface of the mixture. —Julia Bainbridge

What You'll Need
  • Peels from 3 to 4 pineapples (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • Seeds of 1 1/2 passion fruits (about 6 ½ ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 3 whole Mexican cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 small cone of piloncillo (4 1/2 ounces
  1. Combine the pineapple skins, passion fruit seeds, allspice, cinnamon, and piloncillo in a large (6-quart) nonreactive container. Add enough filtered water to cover the skins, about 3 quarts. Secure a piece of cheesecloth to the top of the container using a rubber band and let it sit at room temperature for 1 to 3 days, until it tastes sweet and slightly sour, with small white bubbles/foam on top. It will be a warm golden color at its ripest. (See headnote for more pointers.)
  2. Once properly fermented, strain the liquid, discarding the solids, and transfer it to a clean container or containers. If using swing-top bottles, leave at least 1 inch of headspace in each. (The tepache might continue to ferment in the bottle and become effervescent, and you don’t want those bottles to shatter! In fact, you should let out a little air each day, too.) Once bottled, store the tepache in the fridge and consume it within two days. To serve, simply pour over ice in a tumbler.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

Julia Bainbridge is an editor who has worked at Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Yahoo Food, and Atlanta Magazine and a James Beard Award-nominated writer whose stories have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others. Her book, Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You're Not Drinking for Whatever Reason, was named one of the best cookbooks of 2020 by the Los Angeles Times and Wired and Esquire magazines. Julia is the recipient of the Research Society on Alcoholism's 2021 Media Award and she is one of Food & Wine magazine's 25 first-annual "Game Changers" for being "a pivotal voice in normalizing not drinking alcohol."

0 Reviews