Spike Your Peaches (and Cherries) and Let the Fun Begin

Get inspiration from German rumtopf this summer

Spiking fruit and making, say, boozy fruit skewers is one of the best things in life. It’s a simple, sweet, and alcoholic dessert that will make you feel (relatively) healthy and happy about drinking, because at least you’re eating fruit, right?

As summer ends, there’s one particular fruit that appears in massive abundance: peaches. Whether you’re browsing at the grocery store or farmers market or getting boxes of produce delivered from your CSA, it seems like this delicious stone fruit is absolutely everywhere. But it isn’t as easy to make syrupy, alcoholic peaches as it is to make boozy strawberries or watermelon. Making brandied peaches takes time and patience. But when they’re finally ready, it will be more than worth the wait.

One can jar peaches soaked in rum, brandy, vodka, or gin. But that process requires sterilization and can be quite complicated. An easier way to make your own scrumptious, booze-soaked fruit is to take a note from the Germans and make rumtopf. Rumtopf is a traditional way to preserve summertime fruits, but it has since become a festive way to get ready for the winter holidays and celebrate with homemade desserts. Instead of jars, it’s made in a ceramic container.

Though traditional rumtopf has all of the year’s seasonal fruits, if you’re starting in August, you’ll be good with peaches, cherries, apples, grapes, and berries.

For every 1 pound of fruit, you will need 1/2 pound of sugar and enough good-quality, 100-proof liquor to cover the fruit by one inch.

Wash and dry the inside of your ceramic container. Then, wash and dry your chosen fruits and remove any peels, seeds, stems, and pits. Place the fruit and sugar inside of your container and then add in your rum or brandy. Cover the top of the ceramic container with plastic wrap and keep it tight. Then, top it with the lid and store your rumtopf in a cool, dark place.

As the summer and fall go on, feel free to add more fruit, sugar, and rum or brandy into your ceramic container, following the same instructions as above. Each fruit should sit for 4 to 6 weeks. And be sure to check on your fruit every once and a while to make sure there is not extra fermentation happening. If there is, add more alcohol.

The rumtopf will be good and ready in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sure, you won’t be able to enjoy the peaches this summer, but imagine how delightful they’ll be on top of the desserts and ice creams served for the holidays! If you can’t wait until winter to enjoy peach desserts, click here for 11 peach recipes to make this summer.