As non-alcoholic alternatives and sustainability are becoming more important, finding alternative ingredients and products to streamline and reduce waste are great options to look at. Tepache de Piña is a fermented beverage made from the core and pineapple skin. It's delicious by itself, great with spirits and is actually a good probiotic!
I've tried and tested several variations of this beverage and landed on the recipe below. Traditionally it's made with a coconut sugar, but I found that the darker sugars masked the pineapple. I kicked it up a notch by also adding some additional pineapple sugar.
Skin of 1 medium pineapple
1/2 pound of white sugar
1 gallon water
1 nutmeg berry, crushed
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
3 star anise
6 green cardamom pods, crushed
RE'AL pineapple syrup
isi Nitro cannister (optional)
Nitrogen capsules (optional)
STEP ONE: Scrub and clean a whole pineapple. Cut off the top and bottom. Place down and using a sharp knife, cut the peel off by slicing off the skin in a downward motion. Place all the skins in a non-reactive container. Set aside.
STEP TWO: In a large pot, add the sugar, spices and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and dissolving the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, let mixture sit until room temperature. (Do NOT add the hot mixture to the pineapple skins or it will not ferment. The heat will kill off the yeast necessary for fermentation to happen.)
STEP THREE: Pour room temperature mixture in with the pineapple skins and stir well. Cover with cheesecloth. (If you don't have a cheesecloth, use some other semi permeable material. Even a clean t-shirt will do.) Let sit for at least 48 hours. Stir occasionally. Depending on the temperature, it may take 1-2 additional days. It should be slightly fizzy and acidic. (The longer it sits, the more acidic and less sweet it becomes as the yeast will continue to eat the sugar. Eventually it will turn into vinegar.)
Pro-Tip: If you've let it sit too long and it's a little too acidic, just dilute it with water.
STEP FOUR: Strain contents through a chinois or cheesecloth and pour into another non-reactive container. Add 1/4 cup of RE'AL Pineapple syrup for every quart. (NOTE: RE'AL Pineapple Syrup is made with with fresh Maui gold pineapple, it's an intense fresh pineapple flavor that gives it a little more pineapple pop.)
STEP FIVE: Keep the contents covered and refrigerated until ready to use. The Tepache does well to be infused with nitro for a creamy mouthfeel and texture. Fill an isi Nitro canister (per the canister instructions) and charge with 1 Nitro capsule. Keep in the cooler. Siphon directly into a mini beer pilsner or in a cocktail.
Pineapple Tepache Highball
Mount Gay Eclipse rum (1.5 oz)
5 oz Nitro Pineapple Tepache
Pineapple leaf, garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the rum and top with the Nitro Pineapple Tepache. Garnish with pineapple leaf.