Peaches Infused with Bourbon and Vanilla

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | February 17th, 2022 | Appetizers, Desserts, Recipes, Tapas Monday

There’s nothing better than a fresh peach. . . unless it’s a fresh peach that’s been infused with some bourbon and vanilla!

Bourbon & Vanilla Peaches

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Bourbon & peaches- a new classic combination

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 12 hrs 50 mins

Course Appetizer, Dessert

Servings 4



  • 4 peaches
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla



  • Bring a medium-sized pot full of water to a boil.
  • Fill a medium sized bowl with ice water.
  • Cut a small x in the base of each peach.
  • Place 1 peach in boiling water, and cook for 30 seconds to 1-1/2 minutes.*
  • Using slotted spoon, transfer peach to ice water.
  • Repeat with remaining peaches.
  • Take peach out of ice water and remove skin.
  • After all peaches have been peeled, cut each peach into thin wedges.
  • Place sliced peaches in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Combine sugar and water in a small pot over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Add bourbon and vanilla.
  • Pour prepared bourbon mixture over peaches.
  • Allow to poach and cool for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cover, transfer to refrigerator, and chill for 12 hours or overnight.
  • Serve as desired.
  • A few serving ideas: as is, atop vanilla ice cream or pound cake


The boiling time for the peaches will vary, depending on how ripe they are. Very ripe peaches need 30 seconds. Less ripe peaches could need 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

Keyword bourbon peaches, peaches

Although this recipe is among the younger in my archives, it’s worth republishing it now, as summer is beginning to near its end. This is the time of year in which we embrace all things summer, which conveniently include freshly picked peaches and ice cream. These peaches would make an absolutely amazing dessert to end a summer gathering- casual or formal. Whether you’re serving the ice cream and peaches in a plastic bowl or martini glass, this dessert will please the palate. Keep it simple or make it elegant, it will be a sweet way to end the meal.

To learn more about this recipe, originally published in July 2018, keep reading.

We spent a weekend in Melbourne, Florida, in June to celebrate my brother’s birthday. Arriving on Friday afternoon, they suggested we meet them at Downtown Produce to finish party shopping and do a wine tasting. Wine + family time = YES!

While we were going from station to station trying wines, I also was checking out all of the interesting products this store carried. They had an amazing ready foods counter, a well-stocked butcher counter, and untold amounts of fun foods. One of these fun foods, which I was able to sample, was vanilla peaches. These peaches were canned fruit on steroids. The peaches were firm with a delightful note of vanilla.

Being me, I didn’t buy any. Instead I opened my recipe document on my phone and made a note to create my own version at home. As I’m wont to do, I look at my list quite often, reviewing the recipe ideas, and considering how I’ll make each. For the vanilla peaches I knew I wanted more flavors added. My instant go-to: bourbon.

When I made the first test batch of Bourbon & Vanilla Peaches, I wondered if the bourbon flavor would be noticeable. The answer is a hearty yes. I also wondered, with the bourbon being a stronger flavor, would I need the vanilla. Again, the answer is yes. For my palate, the vanilla rounds the edges of the bourbon, softening the flavor just a pinch.

The entire batch of peaches has about 2-1/2 shots of bourbon in it. So, as long as you aren’t eating the whole batch, you’re probably safe. Never mind that all of the bourbon doesn’t get absorbed. However, the bourbon does announce it’s presence, so it’s your call whether you serve it to minors.

A final thought on this recipe- don’t toss the brining liquid. It’s a slightly kicked up simple syrup. If you’re making an old fashioned or some other bourbon drink that needs sweetening, this liquid fits the bill. Although I haven’t tried it, I do believe it would make a fine sweetener for iced tea. It’ll give your iced tea a tiny kick, so don’t bring it to the office. But for a lazy evening on the porch, it’ll be just right.

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