Nectarines in Spiced Rum Syrup

It’s Week 4 of The Nourished Kitchen’s Preservation challenge and Jenny asked us to use the “time-honored tradition” of preserving summer’s bounty in alcohol.

Preserving in alcohol works very well with fruit, and I’ve successfully used this technique before. One of my favorite recipes for doing so is Nigella Lawson’s Figs in Rum Syrup, a simple yet spectacular recipe that is found in her book How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking.

This time I decided to use a similar method, but with a different fruit (I chose local nectarines).


In addition, I adapted this recipe by substituting honey for the sugar (and by cutting the amount of sweetener down), as well as by adding some warming spices to the syrup.

A jar (or jars) of “boozy fruit” like this is perfect to stash away in your cupboard. Just think: a couple of months from now, you can open it up and savor a bit of summer’s deliciousness. These will be great on their own (but better with Greek yogurt or homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream); I can also see spooning these into a tart shell (perhaps over a layer of custard or mascarpone cheese)…

This method would also work with other stone fruits such as apricots, peaches and plums. If you don’t have rum, you can try it with brandy or vodka.

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nectarines in rum syrup

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Two for Tuesdays, and Tuesday Twister.

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Nectarines in Rum Syrup with Spices

adapted from How to Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
Makes about 1 quart


  • *6 large nectarines sliced in half and pitted
  • *2 cups water
  • *1/2 cup honey preferably local and raw, plus 2 tablespoons more
  • *1/2 cup white rum plus 2 tablespoons more
  • *2 cinnamon sticks
  • *3 star anise
  • *1 vanilla bean split in half
  • *1 quart or 2 pint glass jars with lids


  • 1. Place halved nectarines, water, the 1/2 cup honey and the 1/2 cup rum in a pot with the cinnamon, star anise and the vanilla bean. The nectarines should be covered by the liquid. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir so that the honey dissolves completely. Allow to simmer gently for about 1 hour (stir every now and then so that all of the nectarines cook equally).
  • 2. With a slotted spoon, remove the nectarines and place in a bowl. If it's easy to remove the skins, go ahead (feel free to leave them on, though).
  • 3. Put the syrup back on the stove, add the additional 2 tablespoons each of the honey and rum, and allow to boil gently for 10-15 minutes more, so the syrup is reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat.
  • 4. Spoon the nectarines into your jar(s). Pour the syrup through a fine strainer over the fruit and discard the vanilla bean and spices. If some of the nectarines are not fully immersed in the liquid, add more rum so that they are all covered.
  • 5. Cap tightly and allow to sit in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks. These should then be consumed within 6 months.

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17 thoughts on “Nectarines in Spiced Rum Syrup”

  1. Making this right now with the excess nectarines from our tree here in Melbourne. Looks beautiful bubbling away. Also a good excuse to invent rum cocktails on a Saturday night!

  2. Are you sure you simmer for 1hr seems like they would turn to mush,I settled for about 10mins and they were already peeling. Hope mine turn out ok.

  3. Then I’m in for sure! I hope there are some good nectarines and peaches left when I go grocery shopping this week. I can fill my unused canning jars with delicious boozy stonefruits!

  4. These sound delicious, and the idea of throwing them into a tart in three months is really tempting. Maybe I do want to take a second crack at canning after all…

    • It’s not really a canning recipe- the fruit is preserved by the alcohol and honey syrup so you don’t have to do any boiling/pressure canning. Nothing scary- super simple- you can do it!

  5. I have had this recipe bookmarked for years!!!! Always “mean” to make it. LOVE your version using fresh nectarines. Now I want to make it again….LOL! Thanks so much for sharing w/ t4t this week :)

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  7. I’ve been wanting to get away from preserving fruits soley as jam or jelly, and this may be just the ticket. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but this more grown-up version of sweets might be more desirable to me mid-winter. They’re gorgeous anyhow. Thanks for sharing with T4T.

  8. Oh Dr. Winnie, these look so very good, but I have to laugh! Last night, i had some peaches that were so soft I decided to put them into the oven with some butter and brown sugar and topped them off with some yogurt cheese, and my husband said, these are good, but they would be much better with a splash of brandy or rum! NOW i have to make these! Thanks for linking to the two for tuesday recipe blog hop. [email protected]

  9. oh, the lovely booziness of this treat! I think this would be a great Christmas gift – if I left any. Thanks for linking this to Two for Tuesdays!

  10. So I love all the ideas you have for serving this…I think an almond tart shell would be just perfect, especially with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Thank you for sharing!