The Last of the Summer Grape Juice

Concord grape juice, from grapes grown in my garden.
Concord grape juice, from grapes grown in my garden.

Aw, grape juice. Delicious, sweet, deep flavor and rich. I made some grape juice with the indigenous cultivar Concord Grapes that grow in my garden.

Concord grapes in my garden.
Concord grapes in my garden.

Concord grapes are a cultivar of Vitis labrusca (fox grapes). They were developed in 1849 by Ephraim Wales Bull in Concord, Massachusetts. the parentage include wild native grapes and a possible non-native grape. It is the grape of choice to make jam, jellies and Welch’s Concord Grape juice.

Ripe Concord grapes on the vine.
Ripe Concord grapes on the vine.

The Mockingbirds and Catbirds sampled the ripe fruit throughout late summer.

both ripe and unripe concord grapes

Here is my harvest. The green grapes are unripe. Concord grape skins are quite bitter, even when ripe.

ripe and unripe grapes separated

I separated the green bitter grapes from the sweet, ripe purple ones. I boiled the ripe grapes in a deep pot until the skins separated from the berry. I lined a large metal strainer (the grapes will stain a plastic one) with clean cheesecloth. I placed the colander in large pot, so the colander handles hung over the pot sides and the juice was free to collect in the pot below.  The boiled grape mixture drained overnight, in the refrigerator.

The next day I took the pot with the stained juice and reheated the liquid. I added sugar to taste. The heat melted the sugar. When the sugar was completely dissolved, I removed the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool. After cooling, I poured the sweetened juice into glass bottles and stored them in the refrigerator.

Concord Grape Juice, Long Chateaux Fall 2012.
Concord Grape Juice, Long Chateaux Fall 2012.

I drank this delightfully simple grape juice with dinner. Bon Appetit.

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