Making your own grape juice at home produces one of the tastiest beverages around. As an added bonus, if you grow your own grapes, you know exactly what’s going into them (and more importantly what isn’t, like pesticides!)
- Potatoe masher
- Two large pans
Choose your grapes. My personal favorites for juice are concords, but any sweet grapes will do. Sort the grapes, weeding out the bad ones and placing the good ones in the colander. When the grapes are sorted, wash them well.
Dump the grapes into one of the pans and completely crush them with the potato masher. Placing the colander over the second pan, dump the mashed grapes into the colander letting the juice strain into the pan beneath. Use the potato masher to increase the amount of juice that is squished from the grapes.
Set the colander full of grapes aside, but don’t discard them yet. Rinse the first pan clean, then cover it with two layers of cheesecloth. Use a rubber band to secure them to the pan. Pour the pan of juice through the cheesecloth. This will catch any large particles that may have worked their way through the holes in the colander. (At this point, I usually can’t resist sampling the juice, as it is at its sweetest point.)
Set the cloth covered juice pan aside. Dump the remaining mashed grapes from the colander into the empty pan and cook them on a stovetop at low temperature. Allow the grape mash to simmer and bubble for ten minutes, periodically crushing it with the potato masher. After ten minutes, more juice should have seeped from the grapes. Dump the entire pan of hot grapes onto the cheesecloth and allow the juice to drain through it, mixing with the juice below. The resulting product is a much tastier and healthier juice than is found in most stores today.
Originally published September 25, 2009 by Amber Reifsteck