The apples are falling from the Chapel orchard trees. Before losing myself in apple sauce, I spent a day working with over half a bushel of concord grapes, a gift from my friend Monica. Our family doesn’t care for grape jelly, but we love sparkling grape juice, especially as a treat on the holiday table. Years ago, my neighbor, Julie, shared a simple recipe for a delicious grape juice beverage that tastes like Welch’s, only fresher, organic and more economical.
The processed half a bushel of grapes produced fifteen quarts of home canned juice–the easy way. No need to seed them or crush them or pre-cook them to release the juice–just put 2 cups of fresh grapes in a sterilized quart canning jar, add 1/3 cup sugar, fill with boiling water leaving a 2-inch head space, and seal with new lids and rings. Process the quarts in a boiling-water bath for 25 minutes. Allow to cool overnight.
To enjoy, strain juice from grapes through a mesh strainer. Press the pulp with the back of a spoon to release all of the juice; discard pulp. To make sparkling grape juice, add carbonated soda water to juice according to taste. DELICIOUS!