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Dec 8, 2008

Prep Time:More than 1 day
Mmmm!!!! Pineapple!!!
Wait! What are you doing???!!!!
Don't throw away the peel!!!!
You can use that peel to make a refreshing drink!
This recipe is quickly becoming scarce in Puerto Rico, but, VERY similar variations can also be found in many other Caribbean, Latin American, and African countries. In Mexico, it is called Tepache. In Ecuador, it is called Chicha de Piña. In South Africa, it is called Pineapple Beer.
To make this refresher, pineapple peels are left to ferment along with with the freshly squeezed juice of sugar cane, known as guarapo.
If you don't have access to fresh sugar cane or you just don't feel like going through all the work, you can use a hard brown cane sugar called panela, also known as, piloncillo or panocha.
It is made directly from sugar cane juice. This form of sugar comes in a brick or cone shape and can be found in most Latin grocery stores or even in certain mainstream grocery stores. You can also use raw unrefined sugar.
Now, keepin mind that as with any other recipe, there are variations to this drink. Normally, it's fermented. Fermenting this drink makes it fizzy, not significantly alcoholic. So the longer you ferment the more the fizz. But you don't want to ferment it for too long or you can end up with a sour drink.
You can also opt to drink without fermenting.  Another option is to leave the skins and spices in the drink instead of straining. In this case, the flavor of the drink will get more intense with each passing day. 
This drink can last you about 4 days if stored chilled in the refrigerator.
You just have to keep adjusting the recipe until your own personal taste buds are happy and you get your own personal variation. The basic recipe is sugar, water, and pineapple skins.
The variations can include or not include cinnamon, cloves, ginger root, and star anise. You can also add juices of other tropical fruit you can get your hands on. Lime juice or Guanábana ( = soursop) is a great addition. I'd imagine that smashed acerola ( = West Indian cherry], would also be great, since the seeds wouldn't have to be removed before using.
The key to this recipe would be to make sure the pineapples are ripe. Don't base the ripeness on the color of the pineapple's skin. Pick up the pineapple and give it a good sniff at its base. It should smell sweet, basically what you smell is what you taste. The pineapple should be firm. If the pineapple has brown spots or soft spots, you had best leave it at the store. Next, the leaves at the crown should be fresh and green.
I've included four variations of the same recipe, please feel free to share your variations, recommendations, substitutions, etc.:



1 to 2 pineapples peeled with about half inch of pineapple flesh attached to peel, chopped into 1 inch pieces (reserve remaing pineapple flesh for other personal consumption if not following one of the last two variations of this recipe)

8 - 12 cups water (the amount of water will depend on each variation of recipe)

2 cups sugar cane juice, raw unrefined sugar, or honey (to taste) (if using sugar, dissolve in 1 cup very hot water)

1 lime, juiced (optional)

8 ounces ginger root, cut into small chunks (optional) or a few cinnamon sticks, cloves, and/or star anise


    • Place peel and sweetner of choice (and spices of choice if using) in a one gallon container that has a cover.
    • Add enough water to top it off.
    • Seal the container.
    • Leave the bottles in a sunny or warm area minimum overnight and maximum 5 days (more days = more fizz).
    • Mix in lime juice, if using.
    • To serve, chill in refrigerator.

    • Combine all ingredients in large pot.
    • Bring to boil.
    • Lower heat.
    • Simmer partially covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
    • Let cool down (unless you'd like to drink it warm or hot like cider).
    • At this point you can choose to strain or not.
    • You can drink it immediately or let it rest refrigerated to allow the spices and pineapple flavor to concentrate.



    • Cut pineapple flesh into one inch chunks, removing and discarding core.
    • Puree in blender until smooth.
    • Strain into large bowl through fine-mesh strainer.
    • Reserve pulp. Reserve juice.
    • Place the peel (and spices of choice, if using) in a pot with 5 cups very hot water.
    • Add reserved pulp to peel mixture.
    • Cover.
    • Refrigerate 5 hours.
    • Strain.
    • Add to reserved pineapple juice. Set aside.
    • Discard pulp and peel.
    • If using, puree ginger with 2 cups of cool water.
    • Transfer to small saucepan.
    • Bring to boil over medium-high heat.
    • Remove from heat.
    • Let cool to room temperature.
    • Strain.
    • Add ginger mixture to pineapple juice.
    • Add half cup sweetener of choice at a time until it is sweetened to your taste.
    • Add lime juice, if using.
    • Add extra water as necessary to make 1 gallon.
    • To serve, chill in refrigerator. 


    • Transfer pineapple peel (and spices of choice, if using) to a deep pot. 
    • Cut pineapple flesh into one inch chunks, removing and discarding core.
    • Add to pot.
    • Add enough water to the pot to just cover pineapple.
    • Bring to rapid boil on high.
    • Lower heat slightly to medium-high and continue to boil until pineapple and skin are soft and mushy.
    • Remove pot from stove.
    • Cover pot completely.
    • Let stand 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.
    • Strain to remove pineapple peel.
    • Use the back of a large spoon to press and force liquid through strainer. 
    • Strain a second time through a clean cotton kitchen cloth to strain out finer particles.
    • Use your hands to squeeze cloth with all your might and get as much of the juice out as humanly possible.
    • Add half cup sweetener of choice at a time until it is sweetened to your taste.
    • Add lime juice, if using. 
    • To serve, chill in refrigerator.  


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday December 8, 2008, 8:43 am
Tags: drink sugar juice caribbean pineapple cane refreshment Pina fermented mavi guarapo [add/edit tags]

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