Colonche is a sweet, fizzy beverage produced in Mexico by fermenting the juice of the fruits of the prickly pear cacti - mainly Opuntia species. The procedure for preparing colonche is essentially the same as has been followed for centuries. The cactus fruits are peeled and crushed to obtain the juice, which is boiled for 2-3 hours. After cooling, the juice is allowed to ferment for a few days. Sometimes old colonche or tibicos may be added as a starter. Tibicos are gelatinous masses of yeasts and bacteria, grown in water with brown sugar. They are also used in the preparation of tepache.
Caution - Homemade mead, beer, coffees, wines, and liqueurs do not have the shelf life of commercial brands! In many instances the use of extracts is preffered instead of cooking and breaking down fruits - to expedite the ageing process and prevent acidity or fruit sedimentation (this also sometimes prevents the natural flavours to permeate the liqueur)! Sugars, coffee, chocolates, and fruits added with water can introduce contaminants to liqueurs so refrigerate upon opening, serve and enjoy as soon as possible!
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