Brandy-Infused Concord Grapes
Posted on 05 October 2010
Have I ever mentioned my preserve-of-the-month club?
If you are Facebook friends with me (I almost said “friends in real life,” as if that is what being a “Facebook friend” means), I went through a week-long period during which it was all I talked about. It was all “DM if you want to be in my preserve-of-the-month club.” And “starting a preserve-of-the-month club for six months. Contact me for details.” It’s nauseating how some people do nothing about talk about themselves. Positively sickening.
Ok, back to me. I decided to start a preserve-of-the-month club for people I know for a six-month period. It’s an experiment to see if I could actually survive making one preserve a month, particularly during the harsh lean winter months. Would it be all marmalades and candied citrus peels? Could anyone be reasonably expected to survive this sugar apocalypse?
I was pleasantly surprised by the response. Granted, I have distributed only two jars from September’s premier offering of spicy tomato jam, but those two arrived to rave reviews. Rave.
With this month’s selection of so-called “boozy” grapes, I attempted a new form of preserving: alcohol.
Alcohol and I are good friends, even if we don’t go way back. I didn’t start drinking alcohol until later in high school–and only a few cocktails at that–and it took until grad school (and two years in Nashville) for consumption–at kegs in business school–to reach its zenith. It wasn’t until a few years after grad school, after I had moved to San Francisco, that I began to appreciate the subtleties of alcohol, especially wine. Although I still belong to the local beer club, I no longer make it past a few glasses of wine a month.
And what is brandy if not super-duper wine? Coupling brandy with grapes, the progenitor of wine, is an obvious combination. And, of course, it’s never preserving without copious amounts of sugar.
I suspect that these can be used just as maraschino cherries are. Except, you know, without the foul cough-syrup flavor. Or as brandied cherries are, but with grapes. Except that I don’t think that I can stomach Manhattans.
Before I let you go, a word about Concord grapes. Actually, the grapes I used were technically Thomcord grapes. They are, as the person at the farmers market who sold them explained, a cross between Thompson and Concord grapes: all the flavor of Concords and all the seedlessness of Thompsons. Um, yeah, now my all-time favorite type of grapes. Who knew that Concord grape jelly was that flavorful because of the grape varietal and not overwhelming amounts of sugar? I’m considering hoarding some to use through the winter.
Adapted from the New York Times
P.S. A shout out to the people of my college years (in a dry town): Cahn-cuhd.