Fruit in Alcohol

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About
There are several techniques for producing sweet, long-keeping fruit preserves in alcohol.

Cooked fruit. Fruits such as peaches, apricots, or pears are blanched, peeled, and briefly poached in sugar syrup. The fruit is placed in sterilized jars, to which equal quantities of thickened and cooled syrup and the chosen spirit (e.g., brandy, rum, bourbon) are added. The fruit should be kept for a month before eating and is preserved for a long time.

Raw fruit. German Rumtopf, French confiture de vieux garçon, and Anglo-American tutti-frutti are mixtures of soft summer fruits in rum, kirsch, or brandy. The fruit is gently mixed with up to 60 percent of its weight in sugar, placed in jars, and covered in the chosen alcohol. Left for a month before serving, the fruit must not be stirred until it leaves the jar. Other versions using stone fruits such as cherries depend on shaking to dissolve the sugar. The fruit is combined with 15 percent of its weight in sugar, covered with strong alcohol such as eau de vie, and shaken regularly. Such fruits may be eaten after 6 weeks and will keep for 12 months or so. See tutti frutti.