Tepache at the Tuesday Market

Two weeks ago while wandering about the Tuesday Market, I noticed a woman scooping out a dark brownish-orange liquid from a bright orange barrel.  A pineapple was painted on the barrel along with the word Tepache.  I jotted down the name and Googled it when I got home that afternoon.

From what I can gather, Tepache seems to be a poor-man’s drink.  It is made from the skins and core of the pineapple and is mixed with water, lots of coarse brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.  Then it is allowed to sit for about 3 days until it starts to ferment, making a sort of mild pineapple beer.

I was intrigued.  I love pineapple agua fresca, so I thought this might be an interesting drink to try.  Unfortunately, when I returned to the market the following week I wasn’t able to find the Tepache vendor.  The Tuesday Market is huge, and to my gringa eye it is difficult to differentiate one section from the next.

My Tepache quest paid off this week, though.  As I wandered around the middle section of the market I saw a bright orange barrel with several glasses of Tepache sitting out ready to be enjoyed.  The drink was garnished with chilli powder and lime juice before being handed off to me.  I wish I could tell you that it was the most delicious drink I have ever had, but to be honest it was a bit disappointing.  It was overwhelmingly sweet, and I couldn’t really appreciate the essence of pineapple at all.  Despite being a bit of a letdown, I don’t have any regrets about trying it.  I doubt I’ll be drinking it again, though.