Rumtopf (Traditional German Fruit Preserve & Beverage)

Total Time
1009hrs 15mins
Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 1008 hrs

Rumtopf (rum pot) is a traditional German beverage. There are many variations. Take this recipe as a more general blue print for your own recipe. The traditional way of making this beverage starts as early as the fresh fruit are available in spring / summer and ends with the last fresh fruit in autumn. But today you can make in "1-step", because you can get always fresh fruit in the supermarket.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 lbs fruit (strawberries, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, currants, blueberries, gooseberries, ...)
  • 1 lb sugar
  • 3 cups rum (54%)


  1. The traditional way of making a Rumtopf started with the first ripe fruit available and ended in autumn (November) with last fresh fruit (often pears). The general rule for making is: for 2 parts fruit you need 1 part sugar and approximately 3 cups Rum.
  2. Wash fruit, pat dry and cut into bite sized pieces, if necessary. Measure them.
  3. Add half of weight sugar, mix and let stand for about 1 hour. Fill fruit into your Rumtopf and add as much Rum, so that fruit are completely (fingerbreadth) covered.
  4. Close Rumtopf and set aside in a cool place.
  5. Repeat these steps with other fruit "until" your Rumtopf is completely filled or fresh fruit season is over.
  6. Take care of your Rumtopf. Fill up with Rum if necessary. It is important that fruit are always completely covered.
  7. After you have added the last "layer" fruit, sugar and Rum let stand for about 6 weeks. Enjoy.
  8. NOTE: 1-step preparation. Use any kind of fruit you like. Use a good mixture of different fresh and ripe fruits. Prepare them as describe above. After you have put them into the Rumtopf cover them with Rum. The Rumtopf should be completely filled. Let stand for 6 weeks. Enjoy.
  9. NOTE: let stand at least for 6 weeks or even more. And keep the Rumtopf always in a cool place.
  10. NOTE on fruit: you can use almost any fruit, but use a mixture of different ones like stone fruit (plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries), berries (strawberries, gooseberries, cranberries, grape wine, and others), you can use figs, apples, pears. Just keep in mind that the fruit will be in the Rum for a long time, so the fruit should be firm enough.
  11. Number of servings can not be given. Time to make includes time until first use.
Most Helpful

OMG, this is so wicked! It has actually been a lot of fun check to see how this developed. My batch included apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries, dried plums, dried apricots and maybe one other thing I forgot. I used an assortment of dark rums including Bacardi, Myers Spiced Rum, and Appleton Dark. After week 2, yes I checked, the fruit still had all its flavor and a nice kick of rum to boot. Started having visions of myself getting soused eating fortified fruit salad. By week 4, the fruit was beginning to lose flavor and color. And my dried fruits were looking quite swollen. The rum was taking on a reddish hue as well. Hmmm. Week seven is here. Fruit is grey and unappealing - no more visions of fruit salad. But the beverage, this is a drink afterall, is rich and syrupy and has all this wonderful flavor that while strong is quite smooth. It tastes more potent than my original rum - so I'm guess a little addition fermentation took place. The color has also deepend to a lovely reddish amber. Now I wish my batch had been bigger to give as a holiday gift. Thanks! 2006 Update: Made this again starting my crock in March for Christmas. Yes that's nine months. Put it away and just left it alone. Amazing stuff. Packed up up with some stollen and it was the perfect gift for a German friend. The biggest challenge was we all fought over the 80 proof fruit which ufter being yucky became wonderful all over again. For eating purposes, the fall fruits and dried fruits worked best. Maybe I should start the 2007 batch now. Thanks again.

justcallmetoni December 22, 2006

This is FANTASTIC!!! I really am not a big rum drinker so was a little worried if i would like it or not! No worries... this stuff is smoooooth and tastes so good! We tried it over ice cream tonight and it was awesome!!! I did put more cherries in it than the other fruits and berries... We also tried it hand warmed in a sniffer and liked that as well. This is an excellent drink!!! Thank you so much Thorsten for posting this FABULOUS recipe!!!!

NcMysteryShopper December 21, 2005

This was easy to throw together since I made it in one batch, not adding seasonal fruit during sommer whenever something were in season. I started in October, so I took what fruits were there.- ONE REMARK CONCERNING THE METHOD WHEN YOU PUT THE RUMTOPF TOGETHER THE TRADITIONAL WAY: Do add 2 parts fruit and 1 part rum whenever fresh fruit is in season,stir very carefully, BUT ONLY add enough rum to cover the fruit completely . This is actually more a fruit preserve than a beverage. Drinking the rum is "just" an nice side effect. :) - - I review this for the World Tour 2005, but due to the fact that it has to steep 6 weeks and Thorsten is my husband, too, I'll not give it any stars.

Inge 1505 October 23, 2005