Choose perfect fruit.
Weigh the fruit, then layer it in a jar. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup of sugar for each pound of prepared fruit. Add enough unflavored brandy to cover the fruit. To further retard spoilage or additional fermentation, store the jar in the refrigerator. Let the fruit age at least a month; two to three months is preferred.
Tips from Mrs. Claus: One pound of fruit, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of brandy will usually fill a one-quart Mason jar.
These fruits were steeped in brandy and sugar in some dark corner of the pantry for months before Christmas, then eagerly consumed along with the Christmas goose or turkey. The Christmas banquet saw the "drunken" fruit arrive in a cut-glass bowl, and any fruit that was not eaten with dinner found its way later into fruit cake or homemade ice cream. The brandy wasn't wasted, either; full of sugar and fruit juices, it was used to toast the Christmas merriment.