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“They’re like edible cocktails. People get smashed.”

Does anyone have experience with preserving fruit w/ booze? Sounds a lot easier than canning and you get a little buzz to boot. Which kind of liquor works best?

read all about it ... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/din...

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    1. I've used vodka with pineapple. Citrus also works. And Berries for that matter. YUM!

      1. I saw the article and was intrigued since I just came into a supply of concord grapes and putting them in brandy (I believe) was one of the suggestions. The recipe called for seeding the concords but leaving the skins on which sounded problematic. It would be timeconsuming to get the seeds out that way and I don't think they would look that good when done. I was thinking of making the recipe from that article that uses plums and brandy, I think.

        Another classic idea is prunes and armangac. Was thinking of that for holiday presents.

        These sound good to me on ice cream or frozen yogurt.

        1. sour cherries in bourbon, with sugar. so freakin good.

          1. Yup! I used Cruzan vanilla rum, VanGogh dutch chocolate vodka and 43 liqueur. They were all pretty tasty--I might be partial to the vanilla rum ones, though. Pictures here:

            I wish I had done other fruit as mentioned in the article. I suppose not too late for raspberries or maybe apricots. Mmmmm.

            And, so ya know, I saw this article today and totally gravitated to the same line you quoted above. Classic! Hey, I'm gonna go have a tipsy cherry right now, they are smiling in the fridge just waiting for me to eat them. HEH HEH HEH! Cheers, man!

            4 Replies
            1. re: kattyeyes

              I guess those cherries transfer their smiles to the end user. No wonder you're always so cheery.

                1. re: bon oeuf

                  Thanks kindly--clearly powered by drunken fruit and sugar! ;)

                2. re: kattyeyes

                  Those looks so dang good! I used to use kirsch with fresh cherries, but like the vanilla rum idea. Cherries are just so freakin' pretty.

                3. I love Elizabeth David's flourless chocolate cake with brandied cherries. However, depending on the time of year...I can't always access them. So, I just soak dried cherries in brandy for a week or more. Then when I'm ready, I boil them down with sugar and add butter and sometimes a little cherry jam to thicken.

                  1 Reply
                  1. One of Mary Ann Esposito's "Ciao Italia" books has a recipe for cherries preserved in vodka; basically, you prick the cherries all over, put them in a big swing-top canning jar, and fill with sugar, vodka, and add a couple slit vanilla beans, then sit in a dark cool place for a few weeks.

                    We did it once; it was sensational.

                    1. I've been thinking of making the plums and brandy myself, does anyone know a good brand of brandy to use?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: newfoodie

                        Fruit-in-booze is a common summer thing where I live. Cherries in vodka or grain always make an appearence. Strawberries too.

                        I do pineapple in rum. My dad does raisins in gin, which I don't recommend.

                        1. re: newfoodie

                          You don't need to use a really special brandy because the flavors the fruit adds masks any subtlety the alcohol would have. My operating assumption anyway.

                          1. re: newfoodie

                            Korbel VSOP is perfectly drinkable. I've heard the VS isn't bad, too.

                            1. re: jaykayen

                              Thanks all, I just put up a batch with some brandy. I took the advice here and got something not too pricey, we'll see how it tastes in about January!

                              1. re: newfoodie

                                I got some brandy and am going to do some with Italian prune plums. Think it would make a good holiday gift.

                          2. Brandied Peaches. There is a thread about it here:


                            1. Inspired by this article, I've got more drunken fruit in my fridge--this time raspberries with a little sugar and a whole lotta Stoli Vanil. I'll report back at Christmastime all liquored up from the fruit. ;)

                              1. Does anyone know how long these keep? The article didn't say, unless I missed it...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: iheartcooking

                                  ummmm... Alcohol is a preservative and tastes MUCH better than formaldehyde, so the answer is "indefinitely." But they're so good you won't have any worries about them hanging around long enough to spoil, even if alcohol wasn't a preservative.

                                2. I'm sure there are more refined ways to do this but I just keep a quart Mason jar half-full of dark Jamaican rum like Myer's in the refrigerator and keep dropping things into it---peaches, strawberries, apple, pineapple, cherries, Italian plums---a few raisins, some chocolate chips, the odd walnut---add more stuff when the level drops. It seems to keep forever. Eat on ice cream or Eggo waffles or both at once.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Querencia

                                    I love this idea. Simple, beautiful, kind of rustic. And very noshable. Hey the holidays are coming up. Bet this thread will be getting a lot more traffic.

                                    1. re: Querencia

                                      Querencia, that's a very old European tradition, but it was done on the counter top, not in the refrigerator. Well, maybe once refrigerators were invented they moved it there to free up counter space. They used to make decorative pottery canisters/jars to keep it in that had a special name (maybe they still do?), but damned if I can remember the name! <sigh> Does anyone else remember? It's kind of like rotation fruit fermentation. One of the names is obviously "compote," but there's another name and the jar went by the same name. I used to do it years ago, then had to break it down for a move and never got it started again. It was fun being able to dig around for a taste of spring when it was late autumn outside! '-)

                                        1. re: enbell

                                          BINGO! Thank you, enbell! I think my mental Post-Its are loosing their sticky. I tried and tried but all I could remember was "romertopf," and of course that's a clay cooking vessel made in Mexico with a name to make people think it's German. Rumtopf. Of course. So now all I have to do is figure out what ever happened to my rumtopf vessel! '-)

                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                          My Mom always called that Friendship Fruit. It was a starter you usually got from a friend, and then you added to it.

                                      1. OK, anyone who's done this with berries--question:
                                        Some whiteness now appears to be, um, growing/blooming on the raspberries...I just started this yesterday afternoon and they're in the fridge...is that just how they begin to disintegrate? Or is something going wrong (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO--say it isn't so!)? Puh-LEEZE!

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                          My cherries always lose their color, it seems to leach into the liquid.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            So the "blooming" is OK? I opened the jar today and took a sniff. Smells good. And the liquid is already a lovely shade--slightly lighter than a Shirley Temple. I must say, the fruit looks much less appealing after it gives up its color, but all in the name of drunkenness, I suppose. ;)

                                            1. re: coll

                                              But k-e is talking about raspberries. I've found them to be somewhat mold prone but don't put them in booze.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                I don't get mold on my raspberries anymore, since I keep them in glass jars as recommended by rworange. So I have to figure that alcohol is only going to up the ante.

                                                Not sure what kattyeyes means by "blooming", but if it didn't look actually moldy I'd ...well, just me, but I'd probably eat one berry and see what happens. The cherries I have are almost white (from at least a year ago, can't remember) and while they look strange, they are fine.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  The plums that I sliced before putting in the rum are also looking a bit weird. It sounds like I should just make use of the alcohol and discard the fruit. For my second batch, I made sure not to pre-slice the plums.

                                                  1. re: newfoodie

                                                    Let us know how that second batch looks after a bit.

                                            2. re: kattyeyes

                                              They're just losing their pigment to the alcohol. It always happens with them. Another reason why the booze is good, but the leftover fruit is not even a shadow of its former self. I dump my raspberries once they've given up all their goodness.

                                              1. re: Vetter

                                                Great to know--thank you! It was just one of them that kind of had one of its "cells" split off first, which made me question...they are otherwise looking good and developing a lovely color as the days roll on.

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  And here's a photo from 10/4...lookin' pretty!

                                            3. I have 3 lbs of Italian prunes and wondered what to do with them... This sounds like a wonderful idea but other than putting fresh fruit, liquor and perhaps sugar in a jar, I have no idea what to do! Should I use "Ball" jars with sealed caps and rings? Does the fruit and liquor mixture need sealing in a hot water bath? I want to do this but the concept is new to me.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Writeher

                                                No heating or sealing, just put it in the alcohol and sugar. Both great preservatives. Couldn't be quicker or easier. I just did rose hips because I only picked a small amount, and was leaving for a trip; it will be something different for the holidays. I did throw away the rose hips, didn't look too appetizing, but the liqueur is lovely. I did add some agave syrup to that. Lots of fun.

                                                1. re: Writeher

                                                  Are you using fresh Italian prune plums or dried prunes. Either would be good! I'm thinking of doing the prune plums myself since they are in season now.

                                                  But the dried prunes in Armangac brandy is a classic:



                                                  1. re: karykat

                                                    I was going to do this with some plums that are like Italian prune plums that were in our market, but I tasted them and they didn't inspire me. So I've just done some with some beautiful organic prunes that looked really fresh and soft and some brandy and a couple cinnamon sticks.

                                                    Put in a dark place.

                                                    Am looking forward to trying in a couple weeks.

                                                    1. re: karykat

                                                      Wow. These (brandied prunes) were great. I was going to give them away for the holidays, but I think they will be my own present for myself. The prunes were soft and rich and the brandy had turned into a dark rich thick wonderful liquid. I just had a couple prunes with a tablespoon of the liquor as a mini-nightcap. Wonderful.

                                                      And I'm really glad I posted this in October because I couldn't remember what I put in with the prunes and brandy. Lots of recipes use tea bags and make a syrup with sugar. I didn't think I had used any sugar and it came out great without it. (You have to use good fresh prunes to start with, I think, and you have to like the taste of brandy.)

                                                2. Never actually tried it, but given how wonderful the combination of fresh pineapple & kirschwasser is, I can't imagine the preserved version would be anything but great. On the other hand, given the price of kirschwasser, might be a $$$ issue.

                                                  1. So I am going to do the boozy grapes in the article. The concords and niagaras are full on here right now. But the recipe suggests seeding the grapes. How is this done? Do I cut them in half? Any help appreciated. Thanks.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: LNG212

                                                      The rose hips I just did had tons of seeds, I did cut in half and scrape out what I could but there were lots left. Just strained them out afterwards. Perhaps they're bitter, like grape seeds, but you're adding sugar so don't go too crazy because there'll be nothing left. Some fruits, like cherries, they tell you to leave the pits in because they impart an almond flavor. You might as well experiment a little.

                                                      1. re: LNG212

                                                        I recently deseeded a bunch of concord grapes for a grape focaccia. It was a project, but not too terrible. I sliced each one in half and then used the knife tip to scape out the seeds. All in all, it was lovely to enjoy the focaccia later without having to worry about seeds.

                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                          I was planning to make this too with some concords I had but stopped short myself when I tried to figure out how to seed them. I've seeded concords by hand in the past for pie. Very time-consuming to do it that way so you wouldn't want to do to much. Remembering back, I just kind of felt for the seeds and pulled them out. Cutting in half would probably work fine but they wouldn't look like beautiful whoe grapes if that matters.

                                                          (With all the concords I had this fall, I pulled the skins off and separated, then heated the grape meat in a pot for about 5 minutes (which helps separate and soften the seeds) then ran through a food mill. Combined the skins again with the de-seeded meat and then froze for pies and cobblers. This way is still time comsuming but easier. But what you end up with is a jumble. There are a few recent threads dealing with this and another hound helped me discover this method.)

                                                          I was thinking of using Italian prune plums rather than the grapes with the brandy.

                                                          Another alternative would be to keep your concords whole and just warn your guests to spit out the seeds!

                                                          (One more idea -- a poster suggested freezing them whole and then spitting out seeds. I did freeze some myself to try this.)

                                                          1. re: karykat

                                                            Thanks for all the info. I picked up some Italian prune plums at the greenmarket this a.m. too. I'm going to do the plums with brandy, cinnamon, and vanilla bean -- it's the last recipe with the original article attached by the OP. It sounds wonderful too.

                                                        2. Lots of these recipes sound yummy - but I don't like sweet drinks. Is sugar an essential ingredient (ie does it help as a preservative) or can it be left out entirely?

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: Peg

                                                            I tipsied up my cherries with only alcohol this summer--no sugar.

                                                            1. re: Peg

                                                              I originally made mine without sugar but it's pretty rough that way. Cut back if you will but I personally didn't like it without any. I used maple syrup/agave with the rose hips, since rose hips are so different anyway, so maybe experiment with more flavorful sweeteners.

                                                              If you make with flavored vodka though, you should have enough sugar in there to satisfy.

                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                Oops, sorry--to clarify--I used flavored vodka, flavored rum and 43 Liqueur...so not rough at all...unless you eat all the fruit at once, HA HA HA...

                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                  I like that idea better than adding plain sugar. That's what I'm doing for the holidays, I think.
                                                                  The opposite of rough to me.

                                                            2. Rmis32 so glad you posted this, I've had a lot on the brain latley. This is great reminder that its pretty close to that time of year to be starting this stuff is you want it for the holidays. Like limoncello, etc..thanks!

                                                              1. Has anybody tried this with apples?

                                                                1. I had a piece of tequila-infused pineapple yesterday...strong as Novocain!!! YIPES!