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Is peach schnapps just vodka?

The Short Answer

No, peach schnapps is not just vodka. While vodka is a clear spirit made from grains or potatoes, peach schnapps is a sweet, fruity liqueur made from vodka infused with the flavors of peaches. Peach schnapps has a distinctly different taste and aroma compared to regular vodka due to the addition of peach flavors.

What is Peach Schnapps?

Peach schnapps is a sweet, peach-flavored liqueur made from grain spirit or vodka. The base spirit is infused with the sweet, fruity essence of peaches to give the liqueur its signature flavor and aroma.

Some key things to know about peach schnapps:

  • Made from vodka or grain spirit infused with peach flavors
  • Has a sweet, fruity peach taste and aroma
  • Usually has an alcohol content between 15-20% ABV
  • Often used in cocktails, shots, or mixed drinks
  • Brands like DeKuyper and Hiram Walker are well-known
  • May be referred to as peach liqueur, peach-flavored vodka, or schnapps

While flavors can vary between brands, peach schnapps tends to have a sweet, candied peach flavor that is smooth and easy to drink. The peach aroma is usually strong and fragrant. The sweetness comes from added sugar or flavors during the infusion process.

Some of the most popular brand names of peach schnapps include DeKuyper, Hiram Walker, Arrow, and Bols. These mass-produced, commercial peach schnapps tend to have a neon pink color and very sweet, candy-like peach taste.

How is Peach Schnapps Made?

Peach schnapps is made by infusing a base spirit, usually vodka or neutral grain spirit, with the flavors and essence of peaches.

Here is a quick overview of how commercial peach schnapps liqueurs are made:

  1. A base spirit like vodka is created, usually from fermented grains, potatoes, or sugar
  2. Peach juice concentrate, peach pulp, distilled peach essence or artificial peach flavoring is added
  3. Sugar and other sweeteners are added to sweeten the liqueur
  4. Other ingredients like citric acid may be added for tartness
  5. The infusion process extracts the peach flavors into the spirit
  6. The schnapps may be filtered or distilled again after infusion
  7. Water, coloring, or thickeners may be added to adjust the flavor and appearance
  8. The finished peach schnapps is bottled at 15-20% ABV

This infusion, sweetening, and flavoring process is what distinguishes schnapps from plain vodka. The additional ingredients provide the signature peach taste.

How Does Peach Schnapps Differ from Vodka?

While vodka is the base spirit used to create peach schnapps, the finished products have some key differences:


  • Peach schnapps has a strong peach flavor and aroma
  • Vodka has a neutral taste and aroma

The most noticeable difference is the sweet, fruity peach taste in schnapps compared to the pure neutrality of vodka.


  • Peach schnapps is sweet due to added sugar
  • Vodka does not contain additional sugars or sweeteners

The sugar added during the schnapps infusion process gives it a sweet, candy-like taste that vodka lacks.


  • Peach schnapps is often neon pink or orange
  • Vodka is crystal clear

Food coloring is frequently added to give commercial peach schnapps a bright pinkish hue. Vodka always remains clear.

Alcohol Content

  • Peach schnapps is usually 15-20% ABV
  • Vodka tends to be 35-40% ABV

While vodka has a higher alcohol content, the infusion process for schnapps lowers the ABV through dilution.

Use in Cocktails

  • Peach schnapps is mainly used in cocktails and shots
  • Vodka is one of the most versatile cocktail spirits

The sweet fruity flavor profile of peach schnapps makes it ideal for fun, flavorful cocktails and shooters. Vodka’s neutrality works well in all types of cocktails.

Common Uses for Peach Schnapps

Here are some of the most popular ways that peach schnapps is consumed:

Mixed Drinks and Cocktails

The sweet peach flavor pairs deliciously with fruit juices, lemonade, tea, and other mixers. Some classic peach schnapps cocktails include:

  • Fuzzy Navel – Peach schnapps and orange juice
  • Bellini Martini – With sparkling wine or prosecco
  • Southern Peach – With iced tea
  • Madras – With cranberry juice
  • Fruit Bomb – Mixed with fruit liqueurs


Shooters featuring peach schnapps are fun, flavorful ways to take a quick shot. Popular combinations include:

  • Slippery Nipple – Peach schnapps and Irish cream
  • Peaches and Cream – With baileys Irish cream
  • Georgia Peach – With Southern Comfort
  • Fuzzy Peach – With rum

On the Rocks

Some people enjoy sipping peach schnapps chilled and straight up. It can be enjoyed on its own over ice, or paired with a sparkling wine as a peach bellini.

In Desserts

A splash of peach schnapps can add sweet peach flavor to all kinds of desserts. It’s delicious in:

  • Peach cobblers or crisps
  • Milkshakes and smoothies
  • Cakes, pancakes, or waffles
  • Fruit salads
  • Parfaits or trifles

The next time you cook with peaches, consider deglazing the pan with a bit of peach schnapps!

Facts and Stats About Peach Schnapps

Here are some interesting facts about peach schnapps:

  • DeKuyper is the #1 selling peach schnapps brand in the US
  • Over 4 million 9-liter cases of DeKuyper peach schnapps are sold annually
  • Hiram Walker peach schnapps is the #2 best-selling flavor
  • Peach is the 2nd most popular flavored schnapps after apple
  • Peak sales are from Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Most popular with young adults ages 21-28
  • Also known as peach liqueur, peachtree schnapps, or just schnapps

Peach schnapps occupies a niche market, but it’s clearly a popular choice during the summer season. The sweet fruity flavor resonates with younger drinkers looking for fun, flavorful cocktails and shooters.

Brand Owner
DeKuyper Sazerac Company
Hiram Walker Pernod Ricard
Paramount Sazerac Company
Arrow Luxco
Mr. Boston Barton Brands

How to Select a Quality Peach Schnapps

Not all peach schnapps are created equal when it comes to taste and quality. Here are some tips for selecting a good peach schnapps brand:

  • Check the alcohol percentage, which should be around 15-20% ABV
  • Avoid neon colored, artificial looking bottles
  • Select a brand with natural peach flavors, not artificial
  • Look for schnapps made from grain spirit or vodka, not neutral spirits
  • Read reviews online to help identify well-rated brands
  • Ask the store clerk for a recommendation on good quality brands
  • Be willing to spend a little more for better taste and quality
  • Try different schnapps side-by-side to compare flavor nuances

While the mass-produced brands like DeKuyper or Hiram Walker work fine for mixed drinks, you can get better flavor and aroma from premium schnapps. Small batch brands or those with all-natural flavors will provide a better experience when sipping or shooting.

How to Drink Peach Schnapps

From shots to cocktails to dessert pairings, there are endless ways to enjoy peach schnapps. Here are serving tips and options:

As a Shot

– Shoot peach schnapps straight up chilled
– Combine with Irish cream or coffee liqueur for layered or mixed shooters

In Cocktails

– Use peach schnapps as the base for fun, fruity cocktails
– Combine with orange juice, cranberry, or iced tea
– Mix with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale for fizzy drinks
– Complement the sweet peach with sour citrus flavors

On the Rocks

– Pour peach schnapps over ice and serve straight up
– Garnish with a peach slice or maraschino cherry
– Enjoy as a peach bellini with sparkling wine

In Desserts

– Use a splash in peach pies, crumbles, and crisps
– Mix into milkshakes, smoothies, or ice cream
– Brush onto cakes or pancakes for added flavor
– Stir into fresh fruit salads or parfaits

Cocktail Ideas

Name Ingredients
Fuzzy Navel Peach schnapps, orange juice
Madras Peach schnapps, cranberry juice
Peach Freeze Peach schnapps, lemonade, vodka
Liquid Cocaine Peach schnapps, coconut rum, vodka
Georgia Peach Peach schnapps, Southern Comfort

FAQs About Peach Schnapps

Is peach schnapps keto friendly?

Peach schnapps is not keto friendly. The sugar added makes it too high in carbs and too sweet for keto diets. Pure vodka is a better low carb option.

Is peach schnapps gluten free?

Yes, peach schnapps is naturally gluten-free since it’s made from peaches and vodka or grain spirit. But check labels, as some flavored varieties may contain barley or wheat.

Does peach schnapps go bad if left unrefrigerated?

Technically it can expire after about 18-24 months unrefrigerated. For best quality and flavor though, peach schnapps should be stored in a cool place or refrigerated after opening.

What can I mix with peach schnapps besides orange juice?

Popular mixers include cranberry juice, lemonade, ginger ale, tea, tonic, Sprite, margarita mix, or fruit liqueurs. Peach schnapps also works in shooters, frozen cocktails, or on the rocks.

What can I use instead of peach schnapps in cocktails?

Some substitutes include apricot brandy, peach vodka, amaretto, triple sec, or muddled fresh or frozen peaches. Adjust sweetness as needed without the schnapps.


In summary, peach schnapps is a sweet, fruity peach-flavored liqueur made from infusing vodka or grain spirit with peach essences and flavorings. It has a distinct candy-like peach aroma and flavor. While vodka is its base, peach schnapps differs significantly in taste, color, use and sweetness. This fun liqueur is popular in cocktails, shooters, and summer drinks. When picking a brand, look for quality ingredients and real peach flavors. Peach schnapps is best enjoyed chilled, on the rocks or in frozen and fruity cocktails that complement its sweet flavors. So next time you’re craving the sweet taste of peaches in drink form, reach for a refreshing glass of peach schnapps!