Rumtopf Recipe

To preserve fruit in alcohol, try this rumtopf recipe. Filling your own rumtopf jar is easy and makes a treat out of your summer fruit that you can enjoy all year.

June/July 2016

  • The classic rumtopf jar preserves fruit in alcohol. Just pour rum over sugar and fruit that you add as it comes into season, and let it age for at least three months.
    Photo by Kelly Cline

Distilled alcohol is antimicrobial and stable, so preserving fruit in alcohol long-term is a good option. The classic German rumtopf recipe below (classically made in a rumtopf crock, but you can use any jar) preserves fruit in sugar and rum. Start a jar in spring, add fruit as it comes into season, and it will be ready by December (but even richer if you let it brew another year).

You can use any fruit — from your garden, or from a farmers market sale at the end of the season. Try preserving apricots, blackberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, or strawberries. Pineapple tends to overwhelm the flavor of other fruits. Feel free to experiment with combinations or stick with a single fruit.

How to Make Rumtopf


• Seasonal fruit
• 1 cup sugar per pound of fruit
• 108-proof rum


1. Start with a 1-gallon, wide-mouth glass canning jar, or with a 1- to 3-gallon classic rumtopf crock. Add fruit, prepared as you prefer, and sprinkle a cup of sugar over each pound of fruit. Pour in rum to cover the fruit.

2. Keep the fruit submerged in the rum. You can do this by putting wax paper directly on the surface of the liquid, or, if the container is wide enough, by weighting the fruit down. A plate with a closed jar of water on top (as long as it will fit inside the container) will work well.

3. Keep adding different fruits as they come into season, plus additional rum and sugar each time.

4. After the rumtopf jar is full, cover it and store it away from direct light. Age it for a minimum of 3 months before serving. Before that, the flavor may be harsh, but as it ages it will become deliciously mellow.

5. After the rumtopf has aged, lift out the boozy fruit with a slotted spoon and use it to top ice cream, cakes, custards, puddings, and other desserts. After the fruit is gone, serve the fruit-infused rum as a digestif or in cocktails.

For much more on simple food preservation techniques that require low or no energy, browse the tips in Off-Grid Food Preservation Methods.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters