Clay jar with fruit design and engraving that reads 'Rumtopf'
Food - Drink
Rumtopf: Germany's Boozy Fruit Preserves
From jam and jelly to curds and more, there are many ways of preserving fruit, but German rumtopf is a bit more unique than any of these larger categories. Combining chopped pieces of fruit and sugar in a rum base, this visually appealing confection is like a jar of fruit preserves and a boozy beverage combined into one.
According to legend, rumtopf originated with 18th century traders who wanted to import both rum and tropical fruits from the Caribbean to Germany, but couldn't figure out how to preserve the fruit. When some fruit fell into a cask of rum, it created a delightful-tasting fruit and alcohol combo that spread throughout the country,
Traditional rumtopf recipes favor spiced rums of at least 108 proof, and the fruits usually come from the yearly summer harvest, making strawberries, cherries, plums, peaches, and pears some of the most popular options. Tropical fruits are also great, and some cooks add extras like cinnamon, clove, and raisins to their batch.
Part of the fun of rumtopf is serving it from a beautiful ceramic jar, and many German families bring out their antique ceramic vessels to make and serve it. It can either be sipped on its own or poured over ice cream, cake, pudding, and cheesecake, and it also makes an excellent cocktail or even a flavoring for roasted meat.