Making grape juice is not something I ever aspired to do, but now that I have, I can’t believe how simple it is. The reward is a fresh and naturally sweet juice with a tart note, making it a delightful base for a cocktail.
I don’t like overly sweet drinks, so I play up the tart side of grapes by pairing the juice with club soda, lime and a couple dashes of bitters. If you like sweeter drinks leave the bitters out.
Just blend 2 cups of grapes in your blender until pureed. No extra liquid is needed. I strained the grapes with 1 layer of cheesecloth in a mesh strainer which made 1 cup of juice. If you use a juicer, the grape juice will be much lighter in color.
Once strained you simply mix in the lime, club soda and bitters. Pour into pretty glasses and garnish with extra grapes. Freezing the grapes for the garnish is another fun option.
I used Christmas Crunch Red Grapes, a seasonal variety of seedless red grape that is slightly larger and sweeter than the standard Red Seedless.
The fruit has a pronounced crunch in texture and a distinctive flavor that has had time to develop with a late-season harvest. They are grown right here in California exclusively for Melissa’s Produce. You can order them online here or buy them at Gelsons or Bristol Farms in Southern California.
Fresh Grape Mocktail
- 2 cups seedless red grapes I used Christmas Crunch Red Grapes plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 10 dashes bitters optional
- 1 cup club soda
Place the grapes in a blender and mix until pureed.
Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or 1 layer of cheesecloth set over a large measuring cup. Press on the solids to extract all the juice.
Add the lime, bitters and club soda to the juice and stir. Divide among 4 martini glasses. Garnish with whole grapes.
Makes four 4-ounce drinks.
Total time: 20 minutes
Fun Grape Facts:
- In the United States, well over 90% of all commercially grown table grapes come from California.
- Botanically, grapes are not fruit but berries.
- Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave. (berry funny)
I hope you enjoy this festive holiday drink packed with fresh flavor as much as I did.
…and then, she paused for thought.