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    Wednesday
    Oct242012

    Boozy Black Moscato Grapes

     

    If you're a preserver, you're probably always ready to pounce on a bargain. When I saw a small display of gorgeous seedless grapes at my neighborhood grocer for $2.00 per box, I thought it was a misprint. 2 pounds for only two dollars? The sign said "$4.99 off regular pricing/special purchase". I just knew I had to buy some. I had no idea what I would do with them, but I knew a box or two were going home with me. 

     

    As soon as I got home, I realized I had one small problem: I didn't really have time to make jelly or jam. I would have loved to have pickled them, but I didn't want to mess around with figuring out which brine to make, no matter how simple. 

    Instead, I just washed the grapes well, picked them off the cluster, leaving their little tails attached, and let them dry a bit before packing them into some decorative jars.

    While I was waiting for the grapes to dry, and before packing them into jars, I stirred up a quick Simple Syrup*.

    Once the Simple Syrup cooled a bit, I poured a small amount over the grapes in the jars. I knew I only needed about one-half inch of Simple Syrup in the bottom of the jars because the grapes were very sweet to begin with. I just wanted a slight infusion of sweetness, but not so much as to interfere with the preservative properties of the booze.

    To finish, I topped off the jars off with good vodka. I used Tito's (our house favorite) though when I took the picture I had just run out so I had to use a few drops of Galen's 151 vodka. Yikes, the Galen's packs a punch!

    Note: Instead of vodka, you can use brandy, rum, bourbon, gin or whatever else you'd like. Just be sure it is at least 80 proof and something you would enjoy drinking by itself.


    Last step: place the jar(s) into a cupboard or other cool, dark place and let them sit and infuse for a couple months. If you think about it, give them a gentle shake a couple times per week. As the jars sit, the vodka will begin to turn a pretty color. The photos below were taken after about 2 weeks, but the color and flavors will continue to intensify.

    Once I think they're ready to enjoy, I'll stick a jar in the fridge, and for the next festive occasion I'll pour an ounce of chilled grape-infused vodka into a fancy little martini glass and garnish it with a few Boozy Black Moscato Grapes.


    Is it 5 o'clock yet?

    That's festive enough for me.



    *To make Simple Syrup, put 1 cup of sugar into a saucepan with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir a minute or two, until the sugar dissolves. Take off heat and cool to room temperature. Store in a very clean jar; any solid particles may cause crystals to form. Refrigerate, tightly covered, up to a month. If you want to store it longer, add 1 ounce of vodka as a preservative.

    This recipe makes 1 1/4 cup.

    You can make larger or smaller quantities with the same ratio of water and sugar.


     

     

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