Saturday, 7 February 2015

Quick lazy grape juice and cordial

One of our  neighbours at the farm come and go like we used to do, and for the last two years they have told us to pick their grapes as they would not be around when they would be ripe.
They are not a very  nice eating  grape, so when I saw a few fellow canners had made simple grape juice,  I decided That I would give it a go too ( I  had nothing to lose)
We wandered over and picked two buckets full and brought them home.
I tipped them into the sink, washed them and  started pulling the grapes off the stems and gave them another rinse in clean fresh water.
After this I put about 3/4 - 1 cup of grapes into each clean bottle, then added a bit less than a 1/4 cup  white sugar to each bottle, I then finished  filling  up to the   top with boiling water , leaving 1/2 inch headspace  to each bottle.
I  capped each  bottle and  give it a few flips to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved and placed the bottles into my electric water bath canner, bring to the boil and hold at boiling point for ten  minutes.
After  processing time has elapsed, I removed the canner lid,and let bottles sit in the water a further  5 minutes before removing  and placing on a towel covered bench out of draughts to cool and seal.
I use a brand new  cap  on these bottles each time I use  them.
These now are supposed to sit on the shelf for 3-4 weeks for the flavour  and colour to develop.
I have already tried a few after only 2 weeks and I really love the taste already.
We ventured back down to the neighbours  again and picked another 2 buckets of grapes(this time they were a fair bit sweeter, but still not great eating) and as I was really happy with the first lot I decided to make even more quick juice out of the larger bucket full and ended up with another  great batch of juice.
This time I used larger bottles and some quart jars.
With the remainder I decided to make some  grape juice cordial concentrate.
I again picked off all the grapes, placed them in a big stock pot,crushed them  with a potato masher and just covered them with water.
I brought this to the boil and boiled  the grapes and water  for  about  10 minutes.
After this I then strained it all through a strainer and then secondly through muslin.
The skins,seeds and residue I fed to the worm farm, and the strained juice I placed back into a  pot and added  an equal amount of sugar ,stirring regularly until sugar dissolved and it reached boiling point. I then  let this boil for approx. 10 minutes.
I then  filled my pint jars, allowing 1/2 inch headspace,wiped rims clean, sealed with flats and rings finger tight and  placed into the boiling waterbath for 10 minutes to seal.
After the allotted  time elapsed once again allowed 5 minutes with lid off and removed to cool on the bench overnight.
I was really pleased with the  amount of juice and cordial we produced  from the four buckets of grapes. The photo below  is just from the second lot of grapes.
The cordial especially has been a  great success, with myself and numerous visitors having had  a try and everyone giving it a definite thumbs up. It is a lovely refreshing drink to have with  soda water or sparkling mineral water and ice, and I am sure would mix   into  alcoholic  drinks like vodka  equally as well.
I often sit out on the  front verandah with hubby late of an afternoon and  enjoy a glass or two,while he has a beer.
I definately will be making more of both the juice and cordial  anytime I am lucky enough to  have a bulk amount of grapes, it is  well worth the effort.
The prickly pear season will be  upon us soon,( I spotted a huge cactus near our place and the owners said I can have the fruit) and this year I intend to make cordial again from them(last year I made jelly and cordial from other  cactus plants I found along the roads, but we just don't eat much jelly).
So until we meet again,
take care everyone,
Jane. :-)  :-)


  1. Ah, how I wish I had a few bunches of these to make grape jelly! Juice and cordial looks great too!

    1. Thankyou :-) :-) , we have been lucky with the neighbours grapes, hopefully our own vine may start producing soon as well.

  2. I think the last picture is the reward for all your work. Thank you for joining my blog hop and hope you will pass the link on to all your friends. I just love seeing things from our of our area! xoxo Canarella

    1. Thanks Lani,
      That cordial was delicious, and I do love my rewards, whether it be food or drink.There is so much beautiful produce out there, that I just feel driven to put it into bottles.Hubby reckons if he stood still long enough I would bottle him. :-) :-) :-)
      Thanks for stopping by,