I have kept the recipe with her endearing comments intact. Let's begin, shall we...
- 1 C grapes (or one half jar)
- 2 C vodka (or brandy)(or filled to the shoulders of the jar)
- honey syrup (directions to follow): for pint jar about 1/3 c, for quart jar 3/4 cup
(in place of honey syrup) sugar syrup 3/4- 1-1/4 c (2x as much needed as the honey syrup)
Syrup directions (to be made later):
Bring 1 c honey and 2 c water to a boil. If using sugar, boil 1 c sugar with 1-2 cups water for 5 minutes.
Wash and dry grapes. Then, either pierce with a needle or cut in pieces (helps the alcohol get to the good stuff inside.)
Place grapes and alcohol in a tightly closed jar. Steep for 1-2 weeks; shaking jar occasionally.
After the 1-2 weeks, strain. Place grape pulp in a large piece of cheesecloth and twist to get out all the juice. Add that juice to cordial, then filter. Now, add the honey syrup/sugar syrup, to taste. Mature for two weeks (or the deep of winter). Drink. Be happy.
This last picture just about says it all (yes, you want to spend an evening at Sister J's house, don't you...), but in her words:
"The cordial, finished, smells like wild concord grapes, and is sweet...the grapes and honey came from my little piece of land, the closest thing to heaven that I've got."
How about a toast to a bit of self-sufficiency and homemade goodness. (I know what we're doing with our grapes next year...how 'bout you? :) )