Rumtopf (Rum Pot)

Rumtopf (aka Rum Pot) is an easy and delicious way to preserve successive waves of seasonal fruit. This traditional European recipe is boozy, sweet and fun to eat.

A jar of rum soaked fruit.

Making Rumtopf is a time-honored way to preserve seasonal fruit. Start when the first fruit comes into season, usually strawberries in the late spring. Combine the fruit with sugar and cover the mixture with high proof rum. The sugar and rum work together to preserve the fruit.

I bought a lovely crock made especially for Rumtopf because I couldn’t resist it. But you can use any glass or ceramic container with a lid.

As the seasons progress, add new fruits as they ripen. Finish adding to the container in the late summer or early fall with the last fruits of the year, often figs and pears.

Of course with modern commerce it’s possible to get just about any fruit at any time of year. So you can add layers of out-of-season fruit from the market. You can also add fruits that don’t grow locally to you (for me that would be pineapple or mango).

After the last layer is added you’re supposed wait 6 weeks before enjoying the “fruits” of your labor. If you’re so inclined, you can certainly do a few “quality control” tastings before 6 weeks have passed.

If you follow the seasonal schedule, your Rumtopf should ready to serve for the holidays. Here in the US you can break it out for Thanksgiving and enjoy it well into the new year.


ingredients for rumtopf in bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Fruit – Some fruits works better in a rum-pot than others. See the sections below for which fruits to add and which to avoid.
  • Sugar – The sugar is necessary to preserve the fruit. I use half the weight of sugar to fruit. You can use equal proportions of fruit and sugar if you like it sweeter and less boozy tasting.
  • Rum – Use 100 proof (50% abv) rum. Rum is typically 80 proof (40% abv). Seek out the higher abv rum as it is needed to preserve the fruit. Since the alcohol is integral to the flavor, use a good tasting high-quality liquor.

The Process

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

strawberries, sugar and rum in a crock.
  • In a traditional Rumtopf crock or any clean glass or ceramic container combine your fruit with sugar. Use 2:1 fruit to sugar by weight.
  • Wait about 30 minutes or until the fruit starts to exude some juice. Pour enough 100 proof rum to cover the fruit completely.
  • If the fruit is floating above the surface of the liquid, place a small plate, bowl or a plastic bag filled with water on the fruit to weigh it down. As it absorbs the liquid the fruit will get heavier and will float less.
  • Cover the jar and set it aside until you’re ready to add the next layer of fruit.
apricots and cherries with rum in a crock.
  • In a small bowl, combine whichever fruit you’re adding next with sugar (2:1 fruit to sugar). Add the new fruit to the container. Add more rum as needed to keep the fruit covered.
  • Add each type of fruit in the same manner as they come into season.
a blue and gray crock with a lid and the word rumtopf on the front.
  • After each addition of fruit, cover the container and set it aside at room temperature.
  • Wait at least 6 weeks after the final addition of fruit to serve the Rumtopf.

Which Fruits are good to use in Rumtopf

  • Strawberries – Hulled. Halved if very large.
  • Apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums – Peeled, pitted and halved.
  • Pears – Peeled, cored and quartered.
  • Cherries – stemmed and pitted
  • Grapes – stemmed
  • Currants – stemmed
  • Figs – Stemmed and sliced in halves or quarters
  • Pineapple – peeled and cut into large chunks

Avoid using these fruits in Rumtopf

  • Blueberries – Blueberries develop a leathery skin in the rum.
  • Bananas – Are too soft and mushy.
  • Apples – Discolor to an off-putting brown color.
  • Blackberries – Will discolor the liquid and other fruits.
  • Citrus – Too watery and can make the liquid bitter.
  • Melons – Add too much water to the rum liquid.
  • Rhubarb – Too sour and too much fiber.

How to Store Rumtopf

Keep the container of Rumtopf at room temperature. The mixture will keep indefinitely. If at any time during storage the fruit is not completely covered, add more rum to top it off.

How to Serve Rumtopf

  • Pour it over ice cream. It’s particularly nice with a good vanilla ice cream.
  • Serve it over Waffles or Pancakes for a special brunch.
  • Scoop a big spoonful over a slice of Pound Cake, Sponge Cake or Angel Food Cake.
  • Sip a cordial glass of the liquid as an aperitif.
  • Make a “Rumtopf Bellini” by combining a little Rumtopf liquid with prosecco.
  • Combine a cup of Rumtopf (fruit and liquid) with a bottle of wine to make Rumtopf Sangria.
  • Pack layers of Rumtopf into small jars to give as holiday gifts.
a glass of red liquor.
a glass bowl filled with ice cream and fruit.
a glass bowl filled with ice cream and rumtopf fruit.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 review

Rumtopf (Rum Pot)

Rumtopf is an easy and delicious way to preserve successive waves of seasonal fruit. This traditional European recipe is boozy, sweet and fun to eat.
Prep Time15 minutes
Layering Time180 days
Total Time180 days 15 minutes
60 servings
Save Recipe


  • 5 pounds Seasonal Fruit (approximate)
  • 2 ½ pounds Sugar (approximate)
  • 24 oz Dark rum (50 proof) (approximate)


  • For the first layer, toss together fruit and sugar in your crock using a 2:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. Set the fruit aside to macerate for 30-60 minutes. The fruit should release some juice.
  • Pour enough rum to cover the fruit. If the fruit is floating above the surface (this often happens with strawberries) use a small plate, bowl or a sandwich bag filled with water to weigh down the fruit.
  • For the next layer of fruit combine the fruit and sugar in a separate bowl using a ratio of 2:1 fruit to sugar. Add to the crock then cover with rum as needed to keep the fruit covered. Continue layering fruits as they come into season.
  • Wait 6 weeks after final addition of fruit before serving.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 114IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating