Alcoholic fruits « Recipes and cooking tips for classic dishes and ingredients (2024)

Pickling fruit in alcohol is a way to preserve it for the winter.
In addition to alcohol, you can do this with vinegar, sugar, salt, or by preserving, drying, freezing or cellaring.
Nowadays, preserving with alcohol is mainly done because it is tasty and it gives a special touch to a dessert or co*cktail. Trendy bartenders have their own homemade liqueurs made from fruit and spices.

German: Rumtopf
Engels: Bachelor’s Jam, Officer’s Jam, Hodgkin, Brandied fruit, Infusions
Frans: Fruits in alcohol, old boy jam

Delicious uses for fruits in alcohol

  • Serve the pickled fruit with ice cream, panna cotta or yogurt as a dessert;
  • Process it into a trifle;
  • Serve over and with a piece of cake or on a pancake;
  • Baking an upside-down cake (fruit on the bottom and butter cake batter on top);
  • Fruit tart (filling tart dough with frangipane and fruit);
  • Clafoutis;
  • co*cktail aperitif: place a piece of fruit at the bottom of a glass, add a dash of homemade liqueur and top with spumante. Or as a stronger co*cktail with vermouth or campari;
  • Muffins: bake them with pieces of fruit in the batter;
  • Compote with meat, served lukewarm;
  • Fruit sauce over pudding. Place the fruit in the blender.

No matter how cheerful some photos are, remember that they were taken just after filling the bottle. The alcohol quickly removes the color from the fruit and it looks pale after a day. This is not an issue for apples and pears, but a white strawberry is not attractive.

Well-known combinations
Use pure alcohol with water or spirits with at least 35% alcohol. The alcohol percentage of your final product must be 20%, otherwise fermentation may occur. The fruits and any added sugar syrup dilute the alcohol content, so keep that in mind. With less alcohol you get something like punch, bowl or sangria and that is not sustainable. Fortified wine (20%) such as port is usually not sufficient to preserve fruit with a lot of moisture, but there are recipes for port and figs that work well. Perhaps the preservative effect of sugar has something to do with this.
It is of course not necessary to use top quality liquor. Neutral tasting drinks are interchangeable: white rum, vodka, brandy, white tequila. These drinks are ideal for making liqueurs and rum topf.
The better quality versions of tequila and rum have a more pronounced taste and we will discuss them separately. Drinks with a typical taste are gin, jenever, brandy, bourbon whisky, grappa, eau de vie. Here are some tried and tested drink-fruit combinations. At the very bottom of this page you will find successful fruit-fruit combinations.
Brandy (made from grapes): plum, apricot, pear, cherry, apple, nuts.
Gin: pear, grapefruit, blackcurrants, citrus fruit peel, cucumber, flowers, garden herbs, green tea, ginger.
Bourbon whisky: figs, cherry, apple, plum, peach, coffee, gingerbread spices, honey, vanilla.
Water of life: peer.
Grappa: blackcurrants, grapes, myrtillo, maraschini.
Tequila (good): chili pepper, citrus, tropical fruit, ginger, melon, mint, lime, basil.
Rum (good): vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, pepper, citrus, tropical fruits including coconut, and pineapple (pineapple-mint!).

Add sugar and seasonings?
When making rum pot, up to 1kg of sugar is usually used for 1kg of fruit. But you can also leave out the sugar, because the preservative effect of alcohol is sufficient. You can also add sugar later once you have decided what to do with the rum pot. It is known that sugar helps the fruit retain its shape and structure.
Because granulated sugar dissolves slowly and sinks to the bottom, it is more convenient to make sugar syrup first. Boil 500 grams of sugar with a cup of water and possibly 10 ml of lemon juice over a low heat. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and then let it cool. The lemon juice ensures that the sugar is converted into invert sugar, which makes the sugar syrup crystallize less quickly.
As for the extra seasonings you want to add, it's best to do so based on your instincts.
Experiment with citrus fruit peel, ginger, vanilla, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, juniper berries, lemongrass…

Cleaning fruits
Wash the fruit carefully. Remove stems, seeds and damage. You can leave the peel on if you want. That gives extra taste. With citrus fruit it mainly concerns the peel.
For large fruit with a thick skin, pierce the skin so that the alcohol enters the fruit.
The fruit does not need to be cooked. Place it in a sealable jar and pour it with a spirit of your choice until the fruit is covered. No need to add sugar.
The fruit will gradually release its color into the drink.
After a week it is ready for consumption. The alcohol gives it a long shelf life, but after a year it becomes less tasty.
If you want to create a liqueur-like liquid, add sugar syrup. You make this by boiling sugar with a cup of hot water and lemon juice. Seearticle about sugar.
Use tightly closing jars, otherwise the alcohol will evaporate and oxygen will enter the jar, causing oxidation.

Rum pot(=Rumpot)
Ripe fruit with about half its weight in sugar and rum with a high alcohol percentage (>50%) is stored in a glazed earthenware jar. Use so much rum that the fruits always remain covered with liquid. Stored airtight in a cool, dark place, the rumtopf is ready in the winter and can be served as a compote with semolina pudding and other desserts. It is customary to fill the jar in layers with the fruit of the period, always adding rum.
Suitable fruits are strawberries, berries and other red fruits, cherries, peach, plums, apricots, grapes, pitted apples and pears, slices of unsprayed orange.
Spices as desired, for example star anise or vanilla.

Farm boys

  • 500 g raisins
  • 200 g white or dark candy
  • 250 cc water
  • 6 cm cinnamon pipe
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 liter of brandy

Wash the raisins in warm water. Let them drain well.
Boil the water with the candy, cinnamon and cloves, add the raisins.
Allow it to “swell” over a low heat.
Then put the raisins in bottles.
Let the candy syrup boil for a while and pour it cold over the raisins.
Finally, pour the brandy over it, close the bottles and let them stand for three months.

Cherry liqueur

  • 200 g firm cherries
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 orange peel
  • 1 l brandy

Wash, dry and pit cherries.
Place cherries with sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, orange peel and a few cleaned, crushed cherry stones in a 1 1/2 liter preserving jar.
Pour brandy on top. The cherries should be at least 2 cm below the liquid.
Close the jar tightly and let it sit for 6 to 8 weeks.
Shake the jar once every fourteen days so that all the sugar dissolves.
Strain and pour into cleaned bottles.
Leave the liqueur for at least another month.

Peasant girls
Farmer's Girls is the name for an old-fashioned alcoholic "drink". It was made by pickling apricots and preserving them in brandy. This used to be the way to preserve fruits, around 1950. It is mainly consumed in Groningen.
The whole was flavored with the addition of candy sugar, caramel and cinnamon. After at least six weeks of rest, the farm girls were ready for consumption.
Peasant girls are served in a low, wide liqueur coupe and can be spooned up straight away. Other uses include desserts, on pancakes, over ice cream or used in meat dishes and sauces.
The “male” counterpart is called farmer's boys, which are made with raisins.

  • 500 g fresh or 300 g dried apricots
  • 300 g white or dark candy
  • 250 cc water
  • 1 liter of brandy

Wash the dried apricots in warm water. After draining, let it boil for about 10 minutes in the water in which the candy has been dissolved
(fresh apricots 1 to 2 minutes).
Then let it stand for 48 hours (fresh 24 hours) and then add the brandy.
Let stand for three months before use.

Melon bomb(Melon with vodka)
Make a small hole at the top of the watermelon. Hollow out the melon slightly. Using a funnel, pour in some of the vodka. Then leave the melon in the refrigerator overnight so that the drink can properly penetrate the flesh. Repeat this every day until the watermelon becomes saturated and no longer absorbs any liquid.
If you insert the vodka bottle, there is a chance that it will create a vacuum and no more vodka will come out. So it's better to use a funnel. Don't have a funnel? Then cut the bottom out of a plastic bottle and place it upside down in the melon.
Cut the watermelon into pieces and serve nice and cold.

Jungle juice
This is a large pot of drink put together for a party, just like a punch or bowl. It contains spirits, fruit juice and usually pieces of fruit. Other names are: hunch punch, spodie, wop.

Recommended fruit co*cktail combinations
Currants, black and red: cassis, chocolate, citrus fruits, dark rum, port, gin
Strawberry: apple, black pepper, chocolate, citrus, coriander, mint, rhubarb, vanilla
Apricot: almond, black pepper, caramel, cardamom, ginger, hazelnut, honey, orange, peach, vanilla, plum, Sauternes, wine
Almond: apple, apricot, banana, caramel, cherry, coffee, fig, honey, orange, peach, pear, plum
Pineapple:basil, caramel, coriander, coconut, macadamia, rosemary, rum, tropical fruits
Apple: caramel, cardamom, chestnut, cinnamon, cranberry, currant, ginger, hazelnut, mango, maple, rosemary, walnut
Asian Pear: almond, apple, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, honey, macadamia, nutmeg, raisins, vanilla
Banana: brandy, caramel, cherry, chocolate, cinnamon, coffee, dark rum, ginger, hazelnut, honey, Madeira wine, mango, molasses, papaya
Blackberries: apricot, black pepper, champagne, cinnamon, citrus fruits, hazelnut, lemon, other berries, peach, plum, Port wine
Blood orange: almond, cardamom, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, figs, ginger, honey, other citrus fruits
Blueberry (Blueberry): lemon verbena, other berries, cardamom, mango, lemon, hazelnut, ginger, figs, lavender, other citrus fruits,
Prickly pear: citrus, lime, tomatillo, tropical fruit
Lemon: apricot, berries, black pepper, cardamom, cherry, citrus, ginger, nectarine, peach, plum, prickly pear, tropical fruit
Lemongrass: cherries, berries, citrus fruits, coconut, ginger, guava, kaffir leaf, coconut, tropical fruit, vanilla
Cranberry: apple, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus fruits, mango, mint, pear
Grape: brandy, chocolate, citrus fruits, ginger, raisins
Raspberry: apricot, cinnamon, citrus fruits, ginger, lemon, nectarine, other berries, peach, plum, rhubarb, thyme, vanilla
Feijoa: banana, berries, cinnamon, citrus fruits, mango, vanilla
Ginger: almond, apple, apricot, banana, berries, Brazil nuts, caramel, chocolate, citrus fruits, coconut, grape, hazelnut, passion fruit, peach, pear, pineaple, plum, tropical fruit
Pomegranate: apple, citrus, cucumber, mint, tropical fruits
Grapefruit: basil, black pepper, caramel, citrus, mint, rosemary, thyme, tropical fruit, vanilla
Guava: citrus, coconut, blueberry, kaffir leaf, pineapple, strawberry, tropical fruits
Hazelnut: apple, apricot, banana, berries, caramel, cherry, chocolate, citrus fruits, figs, mandarin, peach, pear, plum
Kaffir leaf: banana, citrus, coconut, lemongrass, tropical fruit, watermelon
Chestnut: apple, caramel, chocolate, coffee, pear, vanilla
Coriander: apricot, berries, cherries, citrus fruits, nectarine, peach, plum, tropical fruits
Coconut: banana, Brazil nuts, caramel, chocolate, citrus fruits, Kaffir leaf, lemongrass, pineapple, other tropical fruits
Cherry: apricot, black pepper, chocolate, citrus fruits, nectarine, peach, plum, Port wine, vanilla
Kiwi: apple, banana, berries, cherry, citrus, coconut, mango, tropical fruits
Gooseberry: citrus, hazelnut, honey, other berries, white chocolate
Kumquat: berries, cherries, chocolate, cinnamon, coffee, persimmon, plum
Lime: apple, berries, cherries, ginger, papaya, plum, strawberry, tropical fruits
Lychee: citrus fruits, ginger, gooseberry, tropical fruit, vanilla
Mandarin: cardamom, cherry, chocolate, cinnamon, coffee, figs, ginger, nutmeg, tropical fruit, vanilla, star anise
Mango: apple, banana, berries, caramel, citrus, coconut, melon, Sauternes, tropical fruit, vanilla
Melon: berries, champagne, citrus, lemongrass, lemon verbena
Papaya: citrus fruits, black pepper, lime, mango, tropical fruits
Pear: almond, apple, caramel, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus fruits, ginger, hazelnut, Port wine, vanilla, walnut
Persimmon: apple, black pepper, cinnamon, citrus fruits, kumquat, pear
Plum: almond, cinnamon, citrus fruits, chestnut, black pepper, hazelnut, honey, port, vanilla
Rhubarb: apple, apricot, berries, black pepper, citrus, ginger, nectarine, peach, plum, strawberry
Orange: almonds, basil, berries, brandy, cherries, chocolate, coriander, cinnamon, coffee, cranberry, figs, ginger, grape, hazelnut, mint, nutmeg, persimmon, pineapple, vanilla
Tomatillo: berries, citrus, mango, prickly pear, tropical fruit
Fig: almond, black pepper, cinnamon, citrus fruits, hazelnut, pear, port, vanilla
Elderberries: apricots, figs, honey, lemon, mandarin, other berries, peach, plum
Walnut; apple, apricot, banana, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, rum
Root: anise, brandy, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, nuts

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Alcoholic fruits « Recipes and cooking tips for classic dishes and ingredients (2024)

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