Beverages | Farm To Table

Grape Juice

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Grape juice production involves the process of transforming ripe grapes into a flavorful beverage, followed by preservation through canning. This artful craft combines the natural sweetness of grapes with techniques to capture the essence of the fruit at its peak, ensuring it remains enjoyable year-round.

Grape juice in a fluted glass garnished with fresh grapes.Pin
Grape Juice

Why should you make it?

  • Firstly, making homemade grape juice allows you to control the quality of ingredients, ensuring it’s made from fresh, ripe grapes without any unwanted additives or preservatives.
  • Crafting grape juice also allows you to tailor the sweetness and flavor to your preference, creating a personalized and delicious beverage.
  • This versatile homemade grape juice can be enjoyed on its own, used as a base for cocktails, or incorporated into various culinary creations, making it a delightful addition to your kitchen repertoire.
  • Homemade grape juice is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s a healthy drink choice for your family since it has no added sugar.
  • Lastly, canning your grape juice extends its shelf life, allowing you to enjoy the taste of summer grapes throughout the year and reduce food waste, making the most of the limited availability of fresh grapes during their short season.

Pro tips

  • Black or red grapes, especially concord grapes, will stain both your hands and counters. Wipe up any spills immediately to protect counters if they are prone to staining.
  • Double-strain your juice to remove as much sediment as possible for the best-tasting, best-textured juice.
  • Refrigerate when straining: When waiting for your juice to strain, please place it in the refrigerator. It will start to ferment at room temperature.

What you need

Fresh Concord Grapes: Use either purple or white grapes to make your juice.

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Bunches of white and purple concord grapes.Pin
Concord Grapes

How to make it

  • Wash the grapes well. Remove the individual grapes from the stems.
  • Add the washed grapes to a large pot with an inch of water. Heat to boiling. You can use a juicer to extract the seeds and remove the stems if you have one.
  • Reduce the heat and place the lid on the pot. Simmer it for about 10 minutes.
  • Mash the fruit with a potato masher or similar tool.
  • Strain out the seeds and skins with a fine mesh strainer.
  • Refrigerate the juice for at least a few hours or overnight. A sediment will form in the bottom of the container.

Step One

Once the juice has cooled overnight, strain it through several layers of cheesecloth-lined mesh sieve.

Grape juice being strained through cheesecloth.Pin
Strain the juice through a cheesecloth or a jelly bag.

Step Two

Reheat the juice over high heat to boiling in a large pan.

Grape juice heating in a large pot.Pin
Heat the juice to boiling.

Step Three

Pour the hot juice into warm jars, leaving a ¼-inch headspace.

Filling the jar with juice with the aid of a canning funnel.Pin
Fill the jars. Leave the proper headspace.

Step Four

Wipe the jar rims with a damp paper towel. Center the lid on the jar. Screw on bands finger-tip tight.

Wiping the jar rim with a paper towel.Pin
Wipe the rims of the jars clean.

Get the canner water hot, and add the filled jars. Once the water is boiling, set the timer.

Once processing time is done, remove the pot from the heat, carefully open the lid, and move it partially off the top of the canning pot. Let it rest like that for 5 minutes.

Then, remove the lid and allow the jars to rest in the canning pot for another 5 to 10 minutes.

After resting, remove the jars onto a kitchen towel placed on your counter and let them thoroughly cool for 12-24 hours, undisturbed. You may hear the lids pinging sometime in the next hour. This is music to a canner’s ears. It is due to the reaction of the lids being sealed to the jar.

Check the seals. Press down in the middle of the lid. If it flexes up or down, the jar is not sealed and should be refrigerated and used first.

Then, remove the bands. Gently pick the jar up by the lid to further check the seal. Again, if it is not sealed, use it first.

Label jars with contents and the date. Store in a cool dark place.

More ways to extract the juice

  • Use a juicer or a steam juicer. This is the easiest way to make the juice.
  • Use a blender or food processor: Process until it’s as smooth as you can get it. At least a couple of minutes.
  • A potato masher: Instead of heating the grapes, you can just put them in a large bowl and mash them. The benefit of heating them up is that you will end up with more juice.
  • A jelly bag: (We use a mesh produce storage bag.) Mash the grapes, add them to your bag, and squeeze the juice out with your hands.

Storage tips

Storage: Store the juice in jars or a pitcher in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Freezing: Grape juice can technically be frozen but your homemade juice will lose a lot of flavor. For longer storage, it’s best to can it, as suggested above.

What to do with grape juice?

  • Grape Jelly: It’s faster to make grape juice than it is to make grape jelly. After you harvest in the fall, make a batch of jelly and then can the rest of the juice. Then, you can make more jelly from the canned juice later in the year.
  • Mocktail: Serve it to the kids as a healthy after-school snack. If you want to get fancy and make them think they are drinking soda, add some plain seltzer water for a nice sparkle.
  • Grape Sorbet: Use the juice as a base for a refreshing sorbet.
  • Cocktails: Make delicious cocktails with fresh grape juice like this White Grape Cosmo.
  • Grape Sauce: Reduce the grape juice to make a sweet and tangy sauce. This pairs especially well with grilled meats or roasted vegetables.
  • Smoothies: Blend the juice with yogurt and apples for a delicious smoothie.
  • Popsicles: Just freeze the juice in popsicle molds for a special treat on hot days.
  • Grape Syrup: Boil down grape juice with sugar to make a syrup for pancakes, waffles, French toast, or a topping for ice cream.

FAQs

What kind of pot should I use to cook the grapes down?

Use a non-reactive pot, like stainless steel. Other metal pots could leave a metallic taste in your juice.

Can I make it without sugar?

Many varieties of grapes will require no added sugar. Black or red concord are usually sweet enough to not require sugar.

Could I add sugar if it isn’t sweet enough?

Absolutely. If your grapes are tart, add sugar when you reheat the juice after straining the second time.

Do I need to let the juice settle so that I can pour off the sediment?

Technically, no. You don’t have to refrigerate the juice. It just makes for a nicer product to drink.

How many grapes do I need?

Depending on the variety of grapes you use, you’ll need about 3½ pounds of grapes to make one quart of juice.

More homemade juices

Equipment

This homemade grape juice is easy and delicious. Try a batch next time you have lots of grapes. You’ll be glad you did.

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Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Grape juice in a fluted glass next to jars of canned Grape juice.Pin

How to make Grape Juice

Grape juice production involves the process of transforming ripe grapes into a flavorful beverage, followed by preservation through canning.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
processing time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 1 quart
Calories: 365kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $15

Ingredients

  • Cups grapes White, red or purple grapes will work
  • sugar optional

Instructions

  • Wash the grapes well. Remove the individual grapes from the stems.
    3½ Cups grapes
  • Add the washed grapes to a large pot with an inch of water. Heat to boiling. You can use a juicer to extract the seeds and remove the stems if you have one.
  • Reduce the heat and place the lid on the pot. Simmer it for about 10 minutes.
  • Mash the fruit with a potato masher or similar tool.
  • Strain out the seeds and skins with a fine mesh strainer.
  • Refrigerate the juice for at least a few hours or overnight. A sediment will form in the bottom of the container.
  • Once the juice has cooled overnight, strain it through several layers of cheesecloth-lined mesh sieve.
  • Reheat the juice over high heat to boiling in a large pan. Add sugar to taste, if you need to.
    sugar
  • Pour the hot juice into warm jars, leaving a ¼-inch headspace.
  • Wipe the jar rims with a damp paper towel. Center the lid on the jar. Screw on bands finger-tip tight.
  • Get the canner water hot, and add the filled jars. Once the water is boiling, set the timer.
  • Once processing time is done, remove the pot from the heat, carefully open the lid, and move it partially off the top of the canning pot. Let it rest like that for 5 minutes.
  • Then, remove the lid and allow the jars to rest for another 5 to 10 minutes in the canning pot.
  • After resting, remove the jars onto a kitchen towel placed on your counter and let them thoroughly cool for 12-24 hours, undisturbed. You may hear the lids pinging sometime in the next hour. This is music to a canner’s ears. It is due to the reaction of the lids being sealed to the jar.
  • Check the seals. Press down in the middle of the lid. If it flexes up or down, the jar is not sealed and should be refrigerated and used first.
  • Then, remove the bands. Gently pick the jar up by the lid to further check the seal. Again, if it is not sealed, use it first.
  • Label jars with contents and the date. Store in a cool, dark space.
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Notes

Calorie information is for an entire quart. An 8 ounce glass is approximately 89 calories.
Straining the juice and letting it sit for at least a few hours will produce a more refined juice.
More ways to extract the juice
  • Use a juicer or a steam juicer. This is the easiest way to make the juice.
  • Use a blender or food processor: Process until it’s as smooth as you can get it. At least a couple of minutes.
  • A potato masher: Instead of heating the grapes, you can just put them in a large bowl and mash them. The benefit of heating them up is that you will end up with more juice.
  • A jelly bag: (We use a mesh produce storage bag.) Mash the grapes, add them to your bag, and squeeze the juice out with your hands.
What can you do with canned grape juice?
  • Grape Jelly: It’s faster to make grape juice than it is to make grape jelly. After you harvest in the fall, make a batch of jelly and then can the rest of the juice. Then, you can make more jelly from the canned juice later in the year.
  • Mocktail: Serve it to the kids as a healthy after-school snack. If you want to get fancy and make them think they are drinking soda, add some plain seltzer water for a nice sparkle.
  • Grape Sorbet: Use the juice as a base for a refreshing sorbet.
  • Cocktails: Make delicious cocktails with fresh grape juice like this White Grape Cosmo.
  • Grape Sauce: Reduce the grape juice to make a sweet and tangy sauce. This pairs especially well with grilled meats or roasted vegetables.
  • Smoothies: Blend the juice with yogurt and apples for a delicious smoothie.
  • Popsicles: Just freeze the juice in popsicle molds for a special treat on hot days.
  • Grape Syrup: Boil down grape juice with sugar to make a syrup for pancakes, waffles, French toast, or a topping for ice cream.
See the article above for more tips and FAQs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quart | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 1009mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 82g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg
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