Growing my own grapes I have been given the fun task of what to do with all of them! My first thought was wine, however I found out from a fellow mom who also has an abundance of Concord grapes that Concord grapes do not make the best wine. Well this recipe features the Concord grape and is paired with wine so that works for me! This simple recipe uses a reduction of Concord grapes for the makings of a delicious and colorful cocktail. This can also be made non-alcoholic as well for a tasty and refreshing treat.
This spritzer showcases the sweet grape flavor without all the added sugar of typical grape juice. By making a concentrate the flavors are compacted. Pairing it with plain sparkling water helps to lighten up this drink and adds a bit of bubbles making for a fun and refreshing cocktail.
Concord grapes grow great in Colorado. This was my first year tending to the grape vines at our new location. Unfortunately many of the grapes were lost due to a bad hail storm we had this year but I still managed to get a good 10 pounds from our 2 vines. It was fun to watch the grapes form throughout their growing cycle. Above is an image of the grape clusters prior to blooming.
Thanks to another mom in the area I had plenty of grapes this year for recipe development and the makings of this spritzer and a few jars of grape jam!
Health Benefits of Grapes:
Purple grapes feature the beneficial phytochemicals resveratrol and quercetin. Quercetin and resveratrol which are both a type of flavonoid have been shown to help with preventing tumor cell growth and protect against heart disease and help with cholesterol levels.
To make the grape reduction you simply add all the ingredients to a saucepan and cook until the grapes lose their shape and the mixture is reduced. There is no need to separate the skins from the grapes for this recipe as you often do for most jam recipes.
This is what you end up with after cooking for about 20 minutes. The next step is to press out as much liquid as you can through a fine mesh strainer. This will separate the seeds and skins from the concentrate.
So if you have an abundance of fresh grapes then you should try out this recipe. If you do not have fresh grapes on hand then this cocktail can also be made with regular grape juice. If you are watching your added sugar intake diluting juices with plain sparkling water is a simple trick to add more flavor to your water.
Concord Grape & Lemon Spritzer
Author: Brittany Sparks
Makes: 10 Servings (~20 Tbsp Juice Concentrate)
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total Time: 25 min
32 Fluid Ounces Plain Sparkling Water
1 lb Concord Grapes (~3 cups/276 g)
3 Lemons, Juice and Peel
½ Cup Water
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
Splash of White Wine ~1 oz
Fresh Lemon Peel
In a large saucepan add the grapes, lemon juice and zest of 2 lemons, water and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to low. Cook stirring occasionally until the grapes start to break down, about 20 minutes.
Using a fine mesh strainer pour the grape mixture through the strainer into a large bowl to separate the grape skins and seeds. Discard the seeds and skin. Place the strained liquid in a sealed container for storage. I use a large mason jar.
Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon grape concentrate to a glass and top with sparkling water, white wine and ice. Stir to combine. Garnish with fresh lemon peel.
Can be used as a non-alcoholic drink, simply omit the white wine.
Juice concentrate will last for up to 1 week if stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Serving Size (2 Tbsp Lemon Grape Juice Concentrate):
Calories 60, Total Fat 0 g, Sodium 0 mg, Total Carbohydrate 15.7 g, Dietary Fiber 0.3 g, Protein 0.2 g, Potassium 68 mg, Phosphorous 4mg.