Warm weather, however long it lasts, brings dreams of fresh fruit. And once it starts piling up, we dream/panic about ways to use it before it goes bad. Hence, the fruit salad: labor-intensive, yes, but a great way to tear through a bunch of fruit efficiently, and deliciously. In fact there’s only one way we can even think to improve upon the fruit salad: booze.
Since most fruit salads have some sort of maceration going on, the idea of adding alcohol (we’re talking ½ cup, not a handle) makes sense. Not that the spiking is straight-up: most recipes use the booze to create a flavorful syrup to soak the fruit in. Using a liqueur like Limoncello allows you to skip that step, and also makes us think there are probably a few other liqueurs that might go beautifully in a fruit salad.
In fact, that’s kind of the fun here. Since fruit salad is best with the freshest fruit, and fresh fruit is seasonally variant, we all end up making something a bit different. Whatever fruit looks best, and yeah, whatever booze seems like the best match. Consider these templates to follow, but feel free to branch out in the produce—and liquor—aisles.
Limoncello Fruit Salad from TheWanderlustKitchen
The key to this Limoncello-spiked salad is using fresh (read: not soft/soggy) fruit and cutting it into really small chunks. And not just for texture. As the writer says, you get a better booze-to-fruit ratio that way, too.
White Wine Drenched Fruit Salad from SimplyScratch
This name makes it sound like you just pour a few slugs of Pinot Grigio onto fruit, but you actually make a white wine syrup first. Don’t worry, it’s pretty easy, and a totally worthwhile step.
Boozy Watermelon Granita from HowSweetEats
Think of this like frozen fruit salad, with just one fruit. And not too labor intensive either, you get to chill out while your coconut rum-spiked watermelon granita chills out in the freezer.
Spiked Fruit Cup from MarthaStewart
Turns out even Martha can get down with some booze-corrupted fruit. This recipe has some uncharacteristic freedom (for a Martha Stewart recipe anyway), allowing any kind of fruit, and even your choice of booze (gin might be a bit strong, though it could work with the fresh basil and lime). Just let all the good stuff sit for 8 hours. It’s a good thing.
Kiwi Caipiroska Salad from SheKnows
Like a vodka tonic, plus a whole bunch of sweet, delicious kiwi. Some fresh red currants and mint keep it zesty. And yes, it’s called Caipiroska after an actual drink—a Caipirinha variation made with vodka.
Boozy Summer Fruit Salad from MarriedinMarrickville
Depending on where you live, you may have to wait a few weeks to get your hands on some summery produce, but it’ll be worth the wait. Some interesting (maybe Mediterranean?) flavors going on here, with vanilla vodka, olive oil, agave nectar, and sea salt.
Rum-Spiked Fruit Salad from DrinkinginAmerica
Most boozy fruit salads go for lighter booze, and understandably. But this recipe goes for dark rum, complemented by brown sugar and cinnamon. We like the slightly richer flavor profile for a change.