TEPACHE IS A fermented drink/zero-waste superstar made from the skins and core of a pineapple. Today it’s sold by street vendors in Mexico, but it dates back to pre-Columbian times when it was popular among the Nahua people. I got into fermentation much more recently while hanging in queer communities in the woods of Tennessee. Not only is tepache sweet, refreshing, and slightly fizzy, it’s also packed with probiotics, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory bromelain. Add mint and jalapeño for a killer (and cheap!) summer bev.
Put the skins and core (minus the ends) of a pineapple in a gallon container.
Heat 2 cups filtered water, stir in ½ cup sugar till dissolved, and let cool. Cut a jalapeño into several pieces, squish a handful of mint leaves until bruised and fragrant, and throw them both into the container. Add the cooled sugar water plus 6 cups of filtered water. Cover loosely with an unscrewed lid, plate, or piece of cheesecloth and rubber band, and let ferment for 2 to 3 days. Sample periodically, and drink when it tastes good. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
By Revé Douglas
Photographed by Emily Hawkes
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!