DIY Peach Liqueur Recipe

For this liqueur, all you need is fresh peaches, sugar, lemon zest, and a little patience.

A canning jar of DIY peach liqueur next to a stirred cocktail and a fresh, halved peach.

Serious Eats / Marcia Simmons

Why This Recipe Works

  • A two-day infusion is optimal for extracting flavor from the fruit.
  • Adding lemon zest to the vodka-peach infusion adds a bright note to the finished liqueur.

A truly ripe peach is sweet and tangy, so delicate that holding it too firmly will bruise and maybe even break it. Peaches like this are rare, because a lot of grocery stores stock up on rock-hard peaches that were plucked before their time to make them easier to transport. So when you find peaches at their peak, it's time to go nuts with them.

One delightful way to use a peach is peach liqueur, also known as creme de peche. This liqueur complements spirits, citrus, and sugar so well that I'm not sure why it isn't more common in cocktails. And in addition to splashing it in some iced tea and shaking it up with gin and lemon, you can also glaze chicken with it or pour it on some ice cream. Making creme de peche is a way to keep summer sweetness around long after summer is through.

What's Available to Buy

Somewhere along the way the word "schnapps" became associated with ill-advised underage drinking and sorority-party shots. But peach schnapps, when used with a very light hand, can be the perfect accent ingredient in your cocktail. If you want to go a bit more refined, Mathilde, Leopold Brothers, and Stirrings make delicate and pleasantly sweet peach liqueurs that many liquor stores carry.

Why DIY?

Homemade peach liqueur captures everything that is fantastic about this fresh summer fruit, and it's easy to make. Plus, making your own means no preservatives or artificial coloring. I like the way a little bit of lemon picks up the tangy undertones of peaches, but feel free to experiment with flavors and add some herbs, such as thyme.

Use It!

Like most fruit liqueurs, DIY peach liqueur is great with sparkling wine (and maybe a squeeze of lemon and dash of bitters) or splashed in seltzer. It's also the pinnacle of summer drinking when used in place of simple syrup when making sweet tea.

If you want to ambitious, look to the category of cocktails known as sours. Sours generally consists of a spirit, something sweet, and some citrus juice. You can use your homemade peach liqueur as your "something sweet," mixing up peachy variations on daiquiris, sidecars, and more. (If you're feeling frisky, maybe shake with some egg white for a nice foam on top.) Want a cocktail recipe you don't have to experiment with? The Captain Anne Bonnie is a complex drink that includes aged rum, Cynar, and lime juice.

June 2012

Recipe Details

DIY Peach Liqueur Recipe

Active 5 mins
Total 72 hrs
Serves 16 servings
Makes 2 cups

For this liqueur, all you need is fresh peaches, sugar, lemon zest, and a little patience.


  • 1 cup vodka

  • 2 large peaches, pit removed, flesh and skin roughly chopped (about 10 ounces; see note)

  • About 3 to 4 inches of lemon zest

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Place vodka, peach, and lemon zest in a sealable glass jar. Seal and shake. Let mixture steep for 2 days at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Sample before straining to see if the peach flavor is sufficient. If not, let steep for another day. Strain fruit, then filter mixture through a coffee filter or through two layers of cheesecloth, pressing down to extract liquid.

  2. Heat water and sugar in a pot on medium heat until it boils and forms a syrup, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool.

  3. Once the syrup is cool, combine it with the peach-zest infusion. Seal in bottle or jar, then shake to mix. Let rest for a minimum of one day. Store in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Special Equipment

Fine-mesh strainer, cheesecloth or coffee filters


Both yellow and white peaches work well for this recipe. If you use frozen peaches, defrost them first.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
72 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 18mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)