Rumtopf is a German mixed fruit compote traditionally made from rum, sugar and fruit that is added together over several months, then opened to celebrate during the Christmas holidays. In European regions, summer fruit is preserved – in Australia, we begin our batches mid Spring, so it is ready to share during Easter holidays (or Mother’s Day) with family and friends.


Yield: 5 litres
Fresh Fruit, Sliced
500g (per month)
i.e. apricot, cherry, grape (halved), nectarine, peach, pear, plum, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry
no whole grapes or blueberries or citrus
250g (per month)
Dark Rum
Splash or two (per month)
(50% alcohol i.e. vodka or brandy can be used)

1. Wash and dry the Rumtopf pot (you can use a 5L jar or bottle, with opening big enough to remove the soaked, enlarged fruit pieces).
2. Wash and dry firm, ripe fruit.
3. Discard stems, seeds, etc. from fruit. Halve, de-stone (if required), slice as desired.
4. Combine 500g prepared fruit with 250g sugar and add into Rumtopf. Add enough rum to cover the mixture by at least 1cm.
5. Cover the top of the Rumtopf with plastic wrap. Add lid. Store in a cool and dark place (pantry or refrigerator) for 3-4 weeks. Freshly added fruit may float initially but will sink over time.
6. Repeat with a new layer of fruit/sugar mixture and rum (once a month) until Rumtopf pot is full.
7. Wait 4-6 weeks after the final layer has been added (or until desired flavour is achieved).
8. Serve Rumtopf fruit with syrup (hot or cold) or strain as a liqueur/cocktail mixer.
9. Store Rumtopf in the refrigerator for longer storage (12 months or more) ensuring fruit is always covered by the alcohol to prevent spoilage.
October: Strawberries + Sugar + Rum
November: Apricots + Vanilla Bean + Sugar + Rum
December: Cherries + Sugar + Rum
January: Plums + Vanilla Bean + Sugar + Rum
February: Grapes + Sugar + Rum
March: Pears + Sugar + Rum
Open and celebrate on Mother’s Day!
Author: Megan Radaich
Image credit: Megan Radaich

Publication: Strawberry Preserving Guide, available HERE

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