Korean grapes are my mom’s FAVORITE fruit. On my last trip to Korea, my aunt had way too many grapes to finish, so she made grape juice and it was the most delicious fruit juice I have ever had!
I know what you’re thinking. Korean grapes are way too expensive to be making juice out of them. I thought the same thing when I saw my aunt cooking these delicious grapes down into a juice, but the end product is SO worth it!
I can only eat so many grapes before I get sick of them. But this grape juice? This might be a little TMI, but I drank so much of it that it turned my stool black! It’s that good.
What are Korean grapes?
I’ve always called these Korean grapes because that’s what they are commonly known as, but it turns out they originated in Japan and spread in popularity across East Asia. It’s a concord-type grape, specifically called Kyoho grapes. They are very sweet, juicy, and delicious!
These grapes are quite different from the ones we are used to the in US. They are perfectly round, large, have large seeds, and a thick skin. You are not supposed to eat the skin- using your thumb and index finger, bring the grape to your mouth and gently squeeze out the flesh. The flesh will neatly pop out! Then throw away the skin and spit out the seeds.
Korean grapes- you can find these at any Korean supermarket when they are in season, which is usually around late summer through early fall.
Spring water- use whatever water is available to you. I prefer spring water which is available at any grocery store. You can buy a gallon of Arrowhead or Crystal Geyser spring water from pretty much anywhere.
Sugar (optional)- these grapes are already very sweet, especially Korean grapes, so added sugar is totally optional. I added about 1/2 cup of sugar to my grape juice, but you may not need to add any. Or maybe you’ll add more! It’s up to you.
Large pot- for boiling the grape juice
- Potato masher- to smash the grapes
Fine mesh strainer- to strain the grape juice from the flesh
- Airtight pitcher- for storing the grape juice
Inspect your grapes- sometimes the grapes that have fallen off the vines at the bottom of the box are no good. Check for mold and make sure you are not using any grapes that have gone bad.
Keep some paper towels nearby- when it’s time to strain the juice, make sure you have some paper towels to clean any splatter. Grape juice will stain light surfaces quickly, so you want to make sure you clean it right away.
- Strain multiple times- for a smoother mouthfeel, make sure you strain the juice at least 3 times (unless you plan to use it for popsicles or ice cream- no need to strain).
How to store
Since this is fresh grape juice, it will not keep in the fridge for much longer than 10 days or so. I recommend storing it in a glass container, and preferably a pitcher that is airtight. I use glass airtight bottles that I bought from Daiso. Ikea has some too.
To extend the shelf life even more, you can also freeze the grape juice. Use a plastic container and make sure you leave a couple inches of headspace for it to expand. You can keep it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Korean Grape Juice
- 6 lbs Korean grapes (concord type grape)
- 1 gallon water
- 1/2 cup sugar optional
- Remove grapes from vines and wash them thoroughly with cold water.
- To a large pot, add the grapes and 1 gallon of spring water (like Arrowhead or Crystal Geyser).
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Boil for 45 minutes.
- About half way through, use a potato smasher to smash the grapes. After 45 minutes of boiling, taste the juice and add sugar if desired. I recommend no more than 1/2 cup of added sugar (unless you like it VERY sweet, feel free to add more).
- Let it cool for 30 minutes, then strain a few times into a large bowl. Be careful- it may splatter and stain light surfaces, so keep some paper towels nearby.
- Use a super fine strainer if you want your juice completely smooth. I don't usually find this step necessary, but some may not like the mouthfeel. *Note: if using the grape juice to make popsicles or ice cream, don't strain the juice!
- Store in an airtight glass container. You can keep this in the fridge for 7-10 days.
- I recommend drinking the grape juice with lots of ice! So delicious and refreshing 🙂