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Soaking Fruit In Alcohol – This Is How It Works

Most fruits can be preserved for several months by pickling. While vinegar or oil are mainly used as preservative liquids for vegetables, these variants are often only suitable to a limited extent (or not at all) for fruit. Fortunately, alcohol can also be used as a pickling liquid – provided it is high-proof and the taste of the fruit goes well with it. Our post with the recipe and instructions tells you how to pickle fruit in alcohol.

Why alcohol is the ideal preservative liquid for fruit

You can also pickle your harvested or purchased fruit in vinegar or oil, which often reveals unappetizing aromas. For example, pickling strawberries in vinegar is not advisable. The case is different with cherries – they get along well with the sour vinegar aroma (after all, there are sour cherries too).

In general, however, it makes sense to soak the fruit in high-proof alcohol. You are always on the safe side regarding taste and can look forward to delicious pickled fruit.

Note: Like vinegar, high-proof alcohol has a preservative effect.

What types of alcohol are best

Ultimately, you have a few spirits to choose from, but the best tend to be vodka, gin, brandy, and double grain. Sometimes it is also worth betting on rum, red, or port wine.

The basic recipe for pickling fruit in alcohol

You can mix and match whatever you fancy, as long as you use the required core ingredients (fruit and alcohol), and make sure any added extras really work with the fruit. Not only classics like raspberry vanilla are conceivable; but “More exotic” things like strawberry-basil or apricot-parsley can also taste delicious.

Necessary: Only use fruit that is in perfect condition and has no damaged areas!

You always need:

  • fruit
  • high-proof alcohol (e.g. vodka or rum)
  • Sugar*
  • Extras of your choice (such as vanilla pulp, basil, etc.)
  • sufficiently large mason jar

* We recommend using birch sugar instead of normal sugar – your health will thank you.

How to pickle fruit in alcohol step by step

  1. Mix the alcohol with the chosen extra (e.g. vodka with vanilla seeds).
  2. Wash the fruit thoroughly.
  3. Remove all inedible parts from the fruit.
  4. If necessary, cut the fruit open and into small pieces.
  5. Fill the mason jar with fruit and sugar.
  6. Pour the alcohol over the sweet fruit. The fruit must be completely covered.
  7. Immediately close the jar tightly.
  8. Then let it sit for at least two weeks.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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