[Traditional Mexican recipe adapted from my friend and colleague Torin Murphy]
- Chop the pineapple, enjoy the fruit or put it aside (you can just use the skin, core–all the pieces you don’t eat except for the leafy top…don’t use that).
- Grate the piloncillo to powder (if using).
- Crush the whole cloves with the butt of your chef’s knife (or a mortar and pestle), and chop the chile (if using).
- Combine all the ingredients in a large container.
- Cover with a clean breathable cloth towel (or cheesecloth/ nut milk bag), and stir three times a day until you see some nice active fermentation going (bubbles).
- Strain into a glass container using a strainer + funnel when the fermentation is doing well (usually 2 to 3 days).
- Store in the fridge. Enjoy your treat by itself, or as an add-on to beer or a club soda beverage.
There are no real rules as to fermentation time.
Traditionally, this beverage is usually consumed right away, but you can ferment it for a few more days to get a higher level of alcohol (you may even choose to add beer to it!).
Don’t wait too long, though, as eventually it will turn to vinegar (about 1 week, or less in a warmer environment)…which is still delicious (strain + store in room temperature, use as you would any other vinegar)!
Other substitutions can create many different variations of this recipe. Ex: ginger root, hawthorn berries, wine berries, pomegranate, elderberries instead of pineapple
-add botanicals (dry or tinctured) for extra medicinal properties