Easy, Boozy, Beautiful: Alcohol-Soaked Fruit Recipes to Serve This Summer

Photo: Jen Causey

Sipping on a cocktail is so last season. This summer, serve alcohol in the form of macerated fruit or frozen desserts. Who says you can't have your cocktail and eat it, too?

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strawberry gelee with rose granita
Marcus Nilsson

Nothing says lazy summer days like a boozy fruit dessert. The magical pairing of melon or berries or stone fruits with a splash of alcohol, whether white wine ortequila or rum, is an impressive and delicious way to end a meal. Consider these recipes a genius finale, a smart way to use up that half a watermelon when you're bored of eating it by the slice, or a new way to cocktail!

Is the strawberry granita pictured here atop a strawberry gelée an otherwise basic frosé taken to new heights? It's made with a purée of strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Add dry rosé wine and freeze, stirring after a couple of hours, freezing again, and then serving.

Most of the recipes here are quick to make and all are easy. Some call for cutting fruits into different shapes so a platter of glorious peaches, and cantaloupe is a mix of wedges and slices and balls, before you garnish with fresh herbs and drizzle with Rosé Lillet. Others need time to macerate: You prep then leave the fruit and booze to mingle deliciously in the refrigerator, pulling it out when it's time to serve. We call recipes like that the best make aheads possible.

Recipes like Bourbon-Poached Peaches or Pineapple-Infused Rum blur the boundaries between drinks and dessert (and can also be jarred and given as hostess gifts). When you pair cantaloupe with vodka in a sherbet or strawberry with Aperol in a sorbet, though, it's definitely dessert territory, and a divinely scoopable dessert at that.

We hope you love these easy, boozy fruit recipes as much as we do.

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Spiked Fruit Cup

Jen Causey

Made with a mix of whatever fruit you have on hand (try raspberries, pears, and grapes), this spiked fruit cup is like a sangria you can eat with a spoon.

03 of 19

Boozy Melon Three Ways

boozy melon fruit in glass bowls
Bryan Gardner

Think of this as the easiest, most refreshing dessert to serve this summer. Will you choose watermelon with tequila and mint, honeydew with gin and tarragon, and cantaloupe with vodka and basil? Why not make all three?

04 of 19

Tomato Wedges with Flaked Sea Salt, Pepper, and Chilled Vodka


Deconstruct the classic Bloody Mary and let the ingredients shine. Ripe summer tomatoes don't need to be puréed into exhaustion—serve them simply sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Choose good-quality vodka and make sure it's chilled to complete this sophisticated summer treat.

05 of 19

Cantaloupe, Tarragon, and Vodka Sherbet

Naho Kubota

Ice cream grows up when you add vodka and tarragon simple syrup. Sweet, summery, and sophisticated: This is a sherbet you won't forget.

06 of 19

Peach Salad with Melon and Lillet

peach salad with melon and lillet
Paola + Murray

Peach wedges, cantaloupe crescents, round watermelon slices and balls are garnished with small basil leaves for a hint of anise—a splash of Lillet Rosé takes this elegant, easy dessert straight to Provençe.

07 of 19

Watermelon Squares in Campari


Cut watermelon into clean squares and dip them into Campari for a fun yet elegant presentation of truly boozy fruit.

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Red-Wine-Poached Pears

Bryan Gardner

Red wine, crème de cassis, cloves, and juniper berries give these red-wine-poached pears a deep, sophisticated, flavor and a dark, dramatic look.

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Lychee Ginger Ice

Nicole Franzen

This refreshing granita combines lychee and ginger for a homemade snow cone that's not too sweet. Adding ginger liqueur takes this dessert over the top.

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Gewurztraminer-Poached Apricots


These wine-poached apricots can be served over a slice of cake or even your favorite triple-cream cheese.

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Blueberry and Tarragon Frappes

Matthew Williams

Seasonal blueberries, Tito's corn vodka, and fresh tarragon make this an edible treat everyone will remember—and ask you to make again.

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Tequila-Soaked Fruit

Tequila-Soaked Fruit
Mikkel Vang

Try these skewers for a refreshing finale to a summer meal high. Cut the mango, oranges, and watermelon in the morning and refrigerate, then sprinkle on tequila an hour before eating. Skewer right before serving.

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Oranges with Dessert Wine and Rosemary

Oranges with Dessert Wine and Rosemary
Gentl and Hyers

Sweet muscat dessert wine and dry white wine come together for this dish that'll take a lunch-box snack— the orange—to a whole new level.

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Prunes in Armagnac

Yunhee Kim

Finish the night with this loosened-tie version of your favorite dried fruit. Armagnac, a French brandy, gives this dish a cosmopolitan allure.

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Pineapple-Ginger-Infused Rum


Making pineapple-infused rum has consequences: namely, spears of spicy rum-soaked pineapple. Serve the drenched pineapple chilled plain, or blend it with ice for a tropical granita.

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Citrusy Fruit


Cover cut-up fruit in blood-orange liqueur and it'll absorb the liqueur, leaving you with extra-juicy fruit and a sweet, alcoholic kick.

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Bourbon-Poached Peaches

Joseph De Leo

Summer's sweetest fruit is perfect when you simmer it in a heady bourbon syrup and pack it into jars. Pour it over ice cream, stir it into a cocktail, or—our favorite—eat it with a spoon.

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Strawberry Aperol Sorbet

Strawberry Aperol Sorbet
Naho Kubota

A dairy-free, scoopable treat that's an inspired pairing of flavors. When fresh strawberries meet the Italian aperitif wine Aperol, this is better than a spritz.

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Dessert Wine Gelées with Citrus Fruit

Dessert Wine Gelees with Citrus Fruit
Joseph De Leo

Gelatin shots, the perennial college favorite, put on their Sunday clothes for these edible treats. Use segments from various citrus fruits to create a beautiful sunset fade in these dessert wine gelées.

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