Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums


This time of year is very busy for food preservationists. It can be very easy to get overwhelmed with tomato projects. But this is very important. Put the tomatoes down and get yourself some plums. You know, those lovely Italian Prune-plums. The same variety we used to make Plum Liqueur.

Boozy Plums in Syrup

I have tried a lot of new canning recipes this year… but I have a favorite that I am about to share with you. And I promise you will love it!

Armed with a plethora of Italian prune-plums, I made a batch of plum sauce and then decided I wanted to make some stewed plums with a sugary-boozy sauce. We typically make boozy-sugary preserved cherries, but I didn’t make any this year so I thought this would be a good stand in for holiday gift giving. We opened up a jar last night, and it was pure heaven! I just finished mopping up the last of the sauce with a piece of angelfood cake. That is a combination that you must try.

Italian Prune Plums

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums (makes 8 pints) adapted from Tall Clover Farm

4 to 4 1/2 lbs plums (we used the Italian prune plums, but you could probably use any variety)

1 lb. dark brown sugar

4 c. water

2 oranges

1 1/2 – 2 c. brandy (or other booze of your choice) – optional

4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

4-8 pieces of star anise – optional

8 whole cloves

1 1/2″ piece of ginger, cut into 8 slices

Prepare a hot water bath canner, jars, lids, etc. Sterilize the jars.

Halve the plums and remove the pits.

With a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the oranges in long strips, being careful not to remove the white pith. Juice the oranges and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, and orange juice. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

In hot sterilized jars, place the following in each jar:

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 whole clove

1 slice of ginger

1 star anise (optional)

1-2 long strips of orange zest

Pack the plums into the jars, cut-side down. Pack the fruit really well, leaving 1 inch of headspace.*

Pour 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of brandy into each jar (if using)

Pour sugar syrup into each jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Use a chopstick to remove any air bubbles and add more syrup if needed.

Wipe the rims of the jars, and top with jar lid and jar ring. Bring to finger-tip tightness.

Place pints in a water-bath canner and bring to a boil. After it comes to a full, rolling boil, process for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove the lid. Leave jars in canner for another 5 minutes. Remove from canner.

*The headspace is very important, be sure to leave a full inch.

Boozy Plums in Jars

When I was making the syrup, I was afraid it would be overly sweet. But I assure you, the finished product will be perfect. It tastes delightfully of plums, while having hints of orange and a gentle spice of cinnamon, clove and ginger. (I have not tried the ones with star anise yet…)

We made a few jars with the star anise, and a few without. We even made some jars without the brandy for those who are alcohol-free.

If you would like to try a different spirit in this, I think bourbon or rum would be very nice.

Please try making these. You will thank me later…

Related Posts:

Plum Liqueur

Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

Boozy Prune Jam

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums on Punk Domestics

Author: Alicia

Infusing at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients. Join us in making delicious cordials, liqueurs, boozy fruits and cocktails.

12 thoughts on “Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums

  1. This looks so good! My Nana had a plum tree in her backyard that had plums like this – They are so juicy. The recipe sounds so complex! I especially like that you added Sweet Anise. So good!

  2. This sounds amazing!!! I think I need to buy some plums this weekend.

  3. Pingback: Plum Liqueur | Boozed + Infused

  4. Pingback: Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon | Boozed + Infused

  5. Looks and sounds delicious!! Can you tell me how long they keep for on the shelf, and after opening? Also, how far in advance I should make them for Christmas gifting?

    • Thank you! They should keep on the shelf for about a year. After opening, keep them in the refrigerator. They should last about a month in the refrigerator (or possibly longer with the brandy). You can make them anytime before the holidays. I would recommend making them at least a few weeks in advance as many recipes say to let them infuse for a month before eating. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! Cheers~

  6. A sure fire crowd pleaser for the holidays I bet. I think I may have to make everyone wait until New Year’s for the treat – but it sounds like it’ll be oh so worth the wait.

  7. Waaah…Wish I could post pictures…I followed directions exactly, definitely had 1″ head space, but ended up losing about 1/4 of the liquid from each jar. About halfway through processing I realized I could smell spices, meaning stuff that should be in the jar was in the canning water, which was amber colored after processing (so, yeah). Processed for 40 minutes because I’m at 5,000 feet. All jars sealed though, so I guess it’s okay, but still…poop. My suspicion is that it’s because the plums were cold (hubby and I pitted yesterday and put them in the fridge), and that maybe the syrup and/or jars wasn’t hot enough? Any ideas? Thanks.

    • The first batch I made I did not leave an inch of headspace, so I had quite a bit of syrup come out as well. All jars also sealed. The next batch I gave the full headspace and it worked ok. Since you are at such a high elevation and have to cook them longer, that may contribute to the issue. Sorry, I am not really sure. I have not done any high altitude canning.

      Thanks,for the message, and I’m sorry it got so messy for you! I hope you enjoy the flavor…

  8. Wow, what a WONDERFUL recipe! Easy, easy to process and delectable! Next year I will be processing many, many more of my plums this way! I sure appreciate your recipe and clear instructions!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s