Grape juice is extremely common and a favorite among kids, but store-bought juice can have preservatives and tons of added sugar.
Fortunately, you can make your own, and it’s super easy! You can feel good about learning how to make grape juice fresh for you and your family, and you don’t need any fancy ingredients or equipment.
Keep reading to learn how to make homemade grape juice, fun and creative ways to use your fresh juice, and a recipe you can try to make a delicious grape punch everyone will love.
What’s Great About Fresh Grape Juice
No matter what kind it is, fresh juice is always a healthier choice than store-bought. You can leave the preservatives and added sugar out or add in any other ingredients you want to so it’s just right.
You can even use different types of grapes for different flavors. Concord, white, red, black, green, even wine grapes or a combination of grapes. Different grapes have unique flavors, so whether you prefer more sweet, tart, or sour, it’s completely up to you and your personal preferences.
If you have kids, they’ll love fresh homemade grape juice! They’ll probably never want the grocery store stuff again.
Do you grow your own grapes, or maybe you hope to in the future? Use them to make fresh grape juice in season. Store-bought grapes will work well too. If you have too many grapes and you’re not sure what to do with them, homemade grape juice is a great way to use them up.
Grapes are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and can have benefits for heart and skin health. Fresh grape juice is also a great way to hydrate, especially if you have a hard time drinking enough water. Something with a bit of natural sweetness but no additives can make it easier to make sure you’re getting enough fluids throughout the day.
You can use the juice to make your own grape jelly, cook the grape juice down into a concentrate, or can it to extend its shelf life (just be sure to carefully follow safety guidelines for canning).
What You Need to Make Grape Juice
If you’ve never made your own fresh grape juice because you thought it would be too complicated of a process or required some special kitchen gadget, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to learn how to make grape juice.
And you don’t need any unusual extra ingredients, either. Plain grape juice is delicious on its own, and you can really appreciate the fresh grape flavor.
It takes about a pound of grapes to make a cup of juice, so it’s easy to determine how many grapes you need to start with.
Your grapes of choice; that’s it! Seedless grapes are preferable.
- Juicer or blender. If you don’t have a juicer or full-size blender, an immersion blender will work well too but will also require a large bowl. A food processor will also work, and if you don’t have any electrical appliances you can use, crushing the grapes by hand with a potato masher is fine too.
- Strainer or cheesecloth
How to Make Grape Juice
Start by removing any stem pieces and grapes that are underripe or shriveled, then rinse or soak them thoroughly to remove any residue.
If you’re using a juicer, simply feed the grapes through and transfer the juice to a pitcher, no straining is required. Discard the leftover pulp.
For blenders or food processors, blend up all the grapes in batches or mash the grapes thoroughly with a potato masher.
Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or a strainer. Because of the skin and sediment, this can sometimes be a slow process; let it strain in the refrigerator if it’s going to take a long time so it doesn’t spoil.
You can also put grapes in a saucepan with water over medium heat; as they start to soften up, mash them and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then let the liquid strain over a few hours.
Once you have your grape juice, let it sit refrigerated overnight to allow the sediment to settle on the bottom, then transfer it to a pitcher. If you want clearer juice, you can strain it again through a coffee filter.
Give your homemade grape juice a taste! You can dilute it with water if the flavor is too much or add your favorite sweetener. Serve over ice.
Keep your fresh grape juice refrigerated in an airtight container and drink it within 5 to 7 days; after that, it will start to ferment.
If you want to make it last longer, fresh grape juice freezes well. Just take it out and let it thaw then you want to drink it.
Try This Grape Juice Recipe
Now that you know how to make grape juice, use it in a fresh and classic grape punch!
- Grape juice; works best with juice made from more than one type of grape, either separately or already combined
- Another fruit juice of your choice; cranberry works well for punch
- Lemon-lime soda (or sparkling water and fresh lemon or lime juice if you don’t want to add too much sugar)
- Sweetener of your choice to taste
- Fresh grapes, apple chunks, orange slices, and any other fresh fruit you like
- Start with a large bowl or pitcher.
- Pour in your grape juice; begin with about half and adjust as you go.
- Add a smaller amount of your other fruit juice so you don’t overpower the grape flavor.
- Pour in lemon-lime soda or sparkling water and lemon or lime juice to taste.
- If you’re using a sweetener, add it in and stir until it’s dissolved and all the juices are fully combined. Taste it and make any adjustments you want. If the grapes you’re using are on the sweeter side, you can add a splash of lemon juice for acidity.
- Throw your fresh fruits in and chill, then serve over ice and enjoy!
Other Ways to Use Grape Juice
A great tip with any fresh homemade juice is to freeze some of it into cubes once you have it to your liking; then you can use it to keep your juice cold without it becoming too watery, or make fun drinks with grape ice cubes.
Grape juice makes a great base for other fruit juices, so you can use it with just about any other flavors. You can also make delicious and interesting cocktails or mocktails with your grape juice.
Pour your homemade grape juice into popsicle molds and freeze for easy and delicious grape popsicles.
If you love making fruit smoothies, swap the water, milk, or orange juice for fresh grape juice. It will give you a different flavor and give you some extra hydration.
If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can make grape soda or sparkling grape juice using different fermentation methods.
Fresh Grape Juice Is So Delicious
Once you learn how to make grape juice and taste the difference, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought grape juice again.
It’s delicious on its own and it’s also a versatile ingredient in many other recipes. There really is nothing quite like fresh, homemade grape juice.
Excited for more grape content? Next, check out my grape vine page for more growing tips, care guides, recipes, and more!
- About the Author
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Hope Schwartz-Leeper is an avid reader, writer, and lover of all things nature with degrees in English and Philosophy.
Born and raised in the Northeast, Hope has always had an affinity for spending time outside. Growing up and attending college in New York, then living on Cape Cod and finally settling in Rhode Island has given her plenty of experience with the climate and environment of these areas.
She loves growing her own food and plants and is always trying to grow something new. She’s hoping her apple trees will one day bear fruit, but for now she’s excited about anything that comes from the garden.