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World's best grape juice (Home made)

Updated on April 7, 2015

Do you like home made juices?

5 stars from 4 ratings of Fruit juices

How I got hooked

OK, I'm biased on this subject. About three years ago we moved into a new house. The house was one my wife really wanted us to take it but she didn't have to sweet talk me too much as I'd taken a look out the back and there was a little surprise that I'd always wanted. A grapevine!

In our last house I'd planted a small orchard of a Peach tree, Lemon tree, Lime and a Mandarin tree and I was sorry to see them go (especially the Peach tree that produced the most amazing blood peaches) but the grapevine was something special.

It was producing grapes, but was somewhat overgrown so a little TLC was needed but with that little TLC the next year we got a bumper crop and I began to experiment.

Such a wonderful drink

Grape juice made from our own cordial
Grape juice made from our own cordial | Source

An experiment

Okay. I'll admit it this hub is an experiment. I've never done a recipe hub before but the other day I made the juice again (made it for the first time last year) and it was so good that I just had to share the recipe with others.

By the way. if you haven't got a grapevine this recipe also works with Lemons and making Lemon cordial. The recipe started it's life as a Lemon cordial recipe and the quantities are exactly the same. The trick with the Grapes is the more ripe the grape you use the sweeter the juice will be.

I'm sat here watching an advert for 'Fresh cranberry juice' that's actually only 27% Cranberries!!! (don't get me wrong 27% is really high for commercially bought juices and Cranberry juice is really good for you!). I'm smiling as my juice is higher (around 30%) and that's when the juice is diluted to 1 to 3.


How to make it

  • Grapes
  • I Bucket Grapes
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Lemon (optional)

Start with a healthy vine

This was the vine last year. Just before harvesting the grapes
This was the vine last year. Just before harvesting the grapes

A few things to know

(1) Picking, When and how

My Grapevine produces black grapes. They are ripe when they're sweet. The only way to tell when they're ripe enough is to eat a few, when they're sweet enough that you enjoy eating them then it's time for picking and making the juice.

the best time to pick is when before the heat of the day sets in (my grapes ripen at the end of summer). Simply take a bucket and a set of secateurs. Using the secateurs clip the grapes off and put them in the bucket.

At this stage you don't really want to break the skins of the grapes as the more you break the more juice you'll lose before even beginning.

(2) Preparation.

Once you've got a bucketful (stacked up above the bucket) it's time to take in and give them a wash in the Kitchen sink (Yes the wife allowed me to use our Kitchen sink, but you might want to use your laundry sink). Once they've been washed pick the grapes from the bunches and put them into the pot. Here it doesn't matter about breaking the skins as you've got them in the pot you're going to boil them in.

Once all the grapes are picked (takes about an hour) into the pot throw in the cup of water and the cup of sugar (you don't need to be gentle)

The more ripe the grape the sweeter the end product
The more ripe the grape the sweeter the end product
Items needed
Amount
 
Bucket
1 (for collecting the grapes when picking from the vine)
 
Large saucepan or pot
For boiling the grapes
 
Muslin Sheet
For straining the Juice
 
Glass Pitcher
pouring the juice at the end
 
Glass
to drink it in!!!
 
There are a few things that you need, but you've probably got them anyway. The only stuff I had to buy was the Muslin sheet

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: until the grapes are all mush

Three easy steps

  1. The first step is simply bring everything to the boil (lid on the pot) and allow to simmer. You're not trying to reduce the grape juice as you want as much of it as you can get. you simmer it so that the grapes burst their skins and release the juice
  2. Once the juice has been released take it off the stove and allow to cool. Once cool to taste you can use a spoon to try it for taste. If the juice isn't quite sweet enough you can change it by adding sugar. If too sweet you can 'tart' it up by squeezing a lemon into juice (squeeze it into a sieve to keep the pips out)
  3. Strain the juice through the Muslin into the pitcher. If you've got a decent sized funnel then use the funnel by placing the Muslin into the funnel and pouring the mush through. Take your time doing this.It might be good to find a way to secure the muslin so you can pour through it without making a mess on your bench (I put the pitcher in the sink to prevent mess).

Preparation is everything

Bring to boil, cover and then simmer until the grapes burst. This will make about three liters (Just under a gallon)
Bring to boil, cover and then simmer until the grapes burst. This will make about three liters (Just under a gallon)

Juice?

Now you've got the basic juice the time has come to decide whether it's time to drink it or store it. Last year I wanted to store the juice in a cool place and it worked for a while but then the juice started to ferment. I wanted to drink it but the wife told me NO!!! so it had to go

This year we've gone for freezing the Juice so we can keep it for winter and enjoy a wonderful drink or how about an alcohol free 'Gluewein'. Just add hot water instead of cold!

I've only got one real problem now. We're halfway through harvesting and we need a bigger freezer!!! So far we've got about three gallons in the freezer and I reckon we'll get about five gallons of Grape cordial this year!

Ready for storage

Your choice how to store, but be warned if you store it in a cool place it will begin to ferment. Best to freeze and thaw as you need it.
Your choice how to store, but be warned if you store it in a cool place it will begin to ferment. Best to freeze and thaw as you need it.

What's in them?

What's in a Grape?

(1) Grapes have a low glycemic index (GI) somewhere between 45 and 53 depending on the grape

(2) Full of Vitamin C and other Antioxidants (too many to mention but see the link for some lists of what they are good for)

(3) They're full of anti inflammatory ingredients

Oh Heck. Look up the articles, No wonder they were the first thing Noah planted when he came down from the Ark.

Cheers

The final result

Just enjoying a nice drink. And it's good for me!!!
Just enjoying a nice drink. And it's good for me!!!

Finally

This is the first hub I've done on a 'recipe' and would love to hear your feedback on the juice. have you tried to make it? Would you attempt it?

Grapevines are actually pretty hardy and grow in just about any climate as long as it gets a decent amount of rain and good draining soil. I hope I've inspired you to give making your own cordial a go.

Comments

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    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Peg

      I'd make a small pot first so as to get the sugar content right (you can experiment and put as much or little as you like). I' m just in the process of pruning my vine for next year.

      Enjoy the juice

      Lawrence

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Wonderful idea for using that crop of grapes that I usually let go to waste. The idea of cooking the juice and straining it is fabulous. I would probably use cheesecloth since I already have some and it lets the mush strain through and still filters the pulp. I can't wait to try this.

      We started a grapevine about ten years ago and never used the crop. The grapes are not sweet ones, they're meant for wine I think. Now I have two more vines (green seedless ones) rooted and ready to plant. They really take over the entire fence! Nice to know it's a good selling point for someday. Your explanation and method was easy to follow and thorough. Voted way up!

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Mike

      I can recommend making your own. Not only good for you but you know exactly what's in the juice.

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      The bizwhizz

      The beauty of the recipe is it works with any berries and fruit. In some cities there's a trend for 'urban foraging' where people who don't have their own space collect berries from parks and paths etc. As long as you know what the berries are you're onto a winner!

      Keep me posted with it and maybe we can start a list of what the recipe works with. I know we've used it with lemons (and will do again this year)

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Homemade is always better. Great article.

    • Mike Welsh profile image

      Mike 2 years ago from Wales, United Kingdom

      That looks really good. Never thought about making my own grape juice, always just buy it. i am going to have to try this. Voted up

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 2 years ago

      I love fresh juice, but I don't have any fruit baring crops. My in-laws lived in the Canary Islands and had a large grove full of different plants, so they were always making different recipes so as to utilize what they couldn't sell or give away.

      I will give this a shot, though and keep you up to date on my progress. Thanks for the great Hub!

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      RQ

      Hey. Go for the wild blackberries! They should be awesome with the recipe. I saw on TV that people in the cities in the UK go out doing 'Urban foraging' where they go finding wild berries in the cities to make the most amazing juices and jams from them. Go for it, use everything that the Good Lord gives us.

      Let us know how the Wild berries go.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine.

      I'm sat here with a fresh bunch of grapes that I just picked from the vine (Okay. So I'm having a little fun here). The beauty is that this recipe will pretty much work with any fruit. Blackberries, Raspberries or any other citrus or berry fruit. All you change is the sugar content and it's very much a personal thing.

      Part of the inspiration came from our wanting to make the most of some of the things that we have on our property, freezing the grape juice was this year's experiment and it's worked. so we've got juice enough to last us through the winter.

      Next time you're passing a farm stop in and get some berries to try the recipe. I'm sure you'll love the result.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Billybuc

      Most grapevines start producing around the third year. They usually produce on the year or two year old part of the vine so this year you should get some grapes. One of the keys to s 'bumper crop' is actually pruning which is done as soon as the vine has lost all it's leaves.

      You can prune a little now on the parts that don't have any grapes on and it won't affect the yield (it helps the vine produce better grapes)

      I tried to tell my neighbor about pruning when we first moved in but he was skeptical until he saw the crop the next year.

      The way to do it is go right back to the next joint after the cluster of grapes and always make the cut at an angle. The reason for the angle cut is so that water doesn't sit in at the end of the vine as it will get into the plant and kill the vine.

      I might write a hub on this in the future but I'm about a month away from the pruning time (for me it's at the start of winter)

      Hope this helps

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jodah

      Thanks for the visit and vote up. Actually it was your recipe hub that wad part of the inspiration for this hub. I just needed to wait a few weeks to make sure everything worked.

      I hear you about the drought, grapevine are hardy plants but do need some water. One thing I tried is using recycled water. I avoided soapy water but any other I got could go on the plants.

      Not sure how practical it would be for you but in town here it works and I know you can get the 'eco soaps' that don't harm plants so that the water can be reused.

      Thanks again for the visit and vote up.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Besarian

      We put some of the juice In ice cube trays and that works so I guess the ice pops would also be good. The only thing I've noticed is with the sugar in it the block is still sticky to touch when frozen.

      I suppose another thing you could do is put a wooden stick in before freezing and make ice lollies.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 2 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      A great Hub article lawrenceo1 but I think the closest I'll be getting to your marvellous concoction is picking wild blackberries in September for kids to make blackberry juice. Your grapevine looks impressive!

      Thumbs up and pinning.

      Best Wishes;

      R.Q.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      You made my mouth water with your descriptions and pictures. I don't have a grapevine, but if I pass a farm stand with a big basket of grapes, I am tempted to try this. Voted up ++

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We planted grapes two years ago, so this will come in handy as soon as we see a bumper crop. Thanks for the tip. I'm definitely saving this one.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A great recipe hub Lawrence. I have only written one myself and it has proved my most popular. I love grapes and grape juice. We had three vines but over the drought, two died....the one that is left produces black grapes around Christmas. If it produces enough this year I may try this recipe. Thank you for sharing. Voted up.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Wow what a gorgeous grapevine/grapes! I am no expert on recipe hubs. I have never done one. I bet your recipe would make delicious grape ice pops though! Voted up!

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      muneeb3372

      Part of the reason for writing the hub was so that we can enjoy the great taste of the grape juice but not necessarily having to take wine. The other night I used hot water to dilute the syrup and was amazed that it tasted just like the mulled wine I used to get when I'd been skiing! In other words I can get the great taste without the harmful effects. That was part of the reason for writing the hub.

      Thank you for your visit and your input

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Hi Graham. Glad you enjoyed the hub at least. Than you for the vote up. As I said you can use the recipe for just about any fruit juice (although I haven't tried it with apples)

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Lawrence. Tip Top hub. I am afraid I will not be making it myself. Well done a really interesting hub.

      voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • profile image

      muhammad muneeb 2 years ago from sergodha

      i like grape juice but i don't like wine.