Muscadines are a wild grape (for you who are not familiar with them) that grow all over the Southeast. Growing up in Western N.C., we picked muscadines in September and Mama made juice... really more like a "juice cocktail" that was so easy to make and SO good to drink!
Here in the Midlands of S.C., at least in my yard, we have a muscadine variety that ripens earlier than I'm accustomed to... last summer was our first summer in our new home and we missed the muscadines (birds ate well!) because I was in denial that they could be ripe in July! Well they are and we picked a few recently (many are way to high up and I haven't found a way to get to them just yet... birds may beat me to them again, but I'll get the lower ones!)
Anyhow, here's how I made my juice
I heated my quart jars and lids and boiled a big pot of water...
In each hot quart jar I put...
One cup of grapes (rinsed well)
One half cup of sugar
I filled each jar to within a half inch of the top with boiling water.
I tightened my hot lids and rings onto the jars (I gave them a little swish and shake to make sure the sugar dissolved)
Then I processed the jars in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
Mama always canned this juice in half gallon jars (so if you're fortunate enough to have half gallon jars, double the amount and go for it!) My brother still cans this juice every September, and in the same tradition as Mama, he doesn't let anyone open a jar until Thanksgiving! We always have Muscadine Juice on Thanksgiving.
The juice does need to sit for at least two months so the juices and sugar can blend... it starts out a pale barely pink color, but within a few weeks begins to darken to a gorgeous deep ruby red. And it's so yummy!
When it comes time to drink the juice, we strain out the grapes and enjoy the yummy juice!
We have always made this from our local wild muscadines, but the same method can be used with any grape... and maybe other fruits. Dunno, never tried it!
|Muscadine Juice after sitting for a week... it will continue to|
darken and strengthen the flavor.