I love any grape juice recipe; that is if it is made with concord grapes. I have always loves these grapes. When I was young, they were the only grapes that we ever had.
They are dark blue in color and the flavor is so good. They make the best grape juice or preserves; my favorite way to drink it as a kid was a mixture of grape juice and 7-Up over ice (This was only on special occasions when I could get a 7-Up). I am sure this is the kind used in Welch’s grape juice which I loved as a kid but the homemade grape juice is so much better. Canning juice whether grape or tomato for Bloody Mary Mix, at home allows you to add whatever you like to the juice. I prefer it without any additives; no sugar and no sweetener, just the delicious flavor of the grapes.
Making a grape juice recipe not only offers a refreshing beverage but it is the bases for delicious grape sauce and syrups for use in desserts and over ice cream. The quickest way to obtain the juice for immediate consumption is with a manual or electric juice extractor; several types are sold in the kitchen stores. After extracting the juice, strain through several layers of cheesecloth. This will remove most of the sediment which might cause a sharp taste due to the tartaric acid which comes from most grapes. Grape juice has enough acid that it can be canned with a boiling water bath rather than needing a pressure canner.
For years, when I was young, the Concord grape juice recipe was the only kind I thought there was. We only had grapes at harvest time (late summer or early fall) for this type the same with apples for making hard cider; then we had a lot of them. I believe the Concord is the main one grown in Ohio. When they ripen, there are so many and they need to be used or preserve quickly. Many people would sort and wash them thoroughly, then cold pack the grapes in hot sterilized jars. They would either pour boiling water over the grapes in the jars or boil a syrup with sugar and water to pour over them. After this they would process the jars in a boiling water bath for about 30 minutes. After this, the jars were stored a few weeks, they had grape juice and canned grapes.
I prefer the grape juice recipe where the grapes are cooked and strained before the processing. Place grapes in a stainless steel pot and only add enough water to simmer (about ½ cup for every 4 pounds of grapes); it doesn’t have to cover the grapes, only the bottom of the kettle. Cook over medium low heat at a simmer until the grapes are very soft; about 15 minutes. Strain the grapes through several layers of cheesecloth. Refrigerate juice for a couple of days and then strain again. Sediment will settle on the bottom. Heat the juice until hot but not boiling; at this point you can add sweetener if you like. If you do add sugar, stir until it is dissolved. Pour hot grape juice into hot sterilized jars leaving ¼ inch headspace and adjust lids. Process jars in hot water bath for 30 minutes.
I was asking HOW TO MAKE GRAPE JUICE to different friends and here are two more ways that they sent to me.
WHOLE GRAPE JUICE
GRAPE JUICE #2
ALCOHOLIC PUNCH RECIPE (For alcoholic beverages you might want to check out the Bloody Mary Mix
Combine all ingredients and blend well; place container in freezer for about 1 ½ hours before serving.
PURPLE COW RECIPE (for one serving)
Place all ingredients in a blender; blend on high until smooth and pour into a large glass.
FRUIT PUNCH RECIPE
This is a refreshing grape juice recipe.
Combine and blend; pour over block of ice in punch bowl.
NOTE: If preparing in advance, add ginger ale and club soda right before serving.