Fruit and booze are inextricably linked, with the surplus of one leading to the production of the other, as sugar-laden fruit drops from the tree and rots into alcohol. No doubt this is how early man first learnt to party!  Now we have civilized ourselves by one step, taking the fruit and steeping in alcohol, to create liqueur or a delicious pudding.

It’s a great way of preserving fruit and can be tweaked in a variety of ways depending on what fruit you have available and what you most enjoy. If you fancy a fruity cocktail, then infuse your gin, vodka or rum with the fruit of your choice, shake occasionally, and you can consume within a couple of weeks.  You can take this process further with sloe / damson / plum gins and vodkas that improve over time, or you can head in the other direction and aim for alcohol-infused fruit.  It makes for a glorious dinner party dessert that is sweet, fruity and boozy.

While you can use almost any alcohol, the 40% proof of most spirits gives a great taste and is easily strong enough to do the preserving. It’s worth using fruit that is not quite ripe yet.

  • 1 Litre Kilner Jar
  • 10 large figs (or 500g fruit of your choice to loosely fill the jar)
  • 200g Sugar
  • 200ml Water
  • 500ml alcohol
  1. In a pan heat the water and dissolve the sugar, stirring to prevent scorching. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat and allow to cool down slightly
  2. In a clean, sterilised jar add the fruit and the cooled sugar syrup. Then pour over the alcohol so all the fruit is completely covered.
  3. Give everything a good stir or gentle shake and seal.
  4. The jar is best kept sealed in a cupboard for around 2 – 3 months.
  5. If you want to preserve for longer, then place the kilner in a large pan, ensuring that the surface is not in direct contact with the pan. (use a metal mesh). Cover with water, bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and allow to cool.