9.21.10 Grape Crush

Grapes 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
Yes, yes, I know I've already chewed your ear about the wonders of the Concord grape, but I simply must convince you somehow of the absolute necessity of getting your hands on these beauties before they slip away. Run, don't walk, to your nearest farmers market and buy great heaps of them. If nothing else, you will swoon at the smell, perfuming whatever room you set them in. I just learned that they are known as Vitis labrusca, the "fox grape," because of their special "foxy musk," a candied-strawberry aroma that verges on the pornographic. Be very jealous, because our nearby Riverbrook Farm also grows a green variety called Himrod that is every bit as voluptuous and tangy. I can't decided which color I have a bigger crush on. I made juice with the green and sorbet with the purple, and you'll be doing yourself a favor if you try both. Plus they're full of flavonoids and positively bursting with antioxidant benefits.
Grape juice 790 xxx
the palest, tangiest green
The technique for making juice and sorbet is essentially the same, and it's no big deal. You need grapes, patience, a large pot and a strainer.You can't preserve (or "put up") the juice without adding a bunch of sugar, but you could freeze it, or just drink it now, as I'm doing. I made a delicious cocktail with bourbon, grape juice and basil muddled in a little lime juice. Let's call it the Grape Crush. (I just googled that and it already exists, but it's made with vodka, Chambord and sour mix—horrors! I don't believe it deserves to live.)

Fox Grape Juice

1 flat of grapes makes about 1.5 litres
  • — Concord or similar grapes
  • — agave nectar or organic sugar
  • — juice of a lemon

Remove the grapes from the stem, then rinse and drain well in a big colander.

Place them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over low heat and mash them with an immersion blender or potato masher to release the juice. Continue cooking over low heat for about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then pass through a fine mesh strainer, pushing hard on the solids to extract as much juice as possible.

Stir in agave nectar or organic sugar to taste; add the juice of a lemon to balance acidity, as needed. Bottle and store in fridge. Drink within one week.

Download recipe  Download Recipe


I love the taste and texture of concord grapes; I detest the bitter seeds, which remind me that these are "wild" (indigenous) grapes that haven't been tampered with much over the centuries.
vetivresse on September 21, 2010 at 11:35 am —
I have yet to try Concord grapes, but the sorbet sounds amazing, Love the grape crush idea too. I'll make point of picking some of these up at the market next time.
Rob Lee on September 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm —
oh my gosh- i have missed so many posts, i dont know where to start from! i shall start here as i am a huge fan of grapes- and sorbets (and duck, too, should i have started w that post?). all looking so scrummy. smthg so cozy about grapes. maybe it reminds me of having them with my grandfather as a kid. love the post. hope youre well, darling girl. x shayma
shayma on September 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm —