Ginger Bourbon Peaches

Preserved peaches have been likened to rounds of summer sunshine captured in a jar. This recipe adds some extra zest and flavour to that sunshine fruit. These peaches make wonderful gourmet gifts.


  • 1- 4 qt (4 L) basket peaches, 17 to 20 medium
  • 8 inches (20 cm) cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) finely chopped gingerroot
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) whole cloves
  • 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) bourbon


  • Place 5 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.

  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.

  • Blanch, peel, halve and pit peaches. As peaches are peeled, place in a colour protection solution made of 4 tbsp (60 ml) Fruit-Fresh® dissolved in 8 cups (2000 ml) water, if desired. Set aside.

  • Break cinnamon stick into pieces and tie with gingerroot and cloves in a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag. Place spice bag in a large stainless steel saucepan with sugar and water. Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes to make syrup.

  • Drain peaches and add to syrup. Return to a boil; boil 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in bourbon, discard spice bag.

  • Pack hot peaches snugly in overlapping layers into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot syrup to cover peaches to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more peaches and hot syrup. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner.

  • Repeat for remaining peaches and hot syrup.

  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 20 minutes.*

  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.

  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.