World's best grape juice (Home made)
Do you like home made 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
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
- I Bucket Grapes
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Lemon (optional)
Start with a healthy vine
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.
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)
1 (for collecting the grapes when picking from the vine)
Large saucepan or pot
For boiling the grapes
For straining the Juice
pouring the juice at the end
to drink it in!!!
Three easy steps
- 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
- 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)
- 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
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
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.
The final result
For more information on how good grapes really are
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.