Brandy-Infused Concord Grapes

Posted on 05 October 2010

Brandy-infused Concord grapes

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?

Brandy-infused Concord grapes

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.

Brandy-infused Concord grapes

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.

Brandy-infused Concord grapes

Brandy-Infused Concord Grapes

Yield: 4 8-ounce jars


1 1/4 pounds Thomcord grapes, washed, stems removed
1 cup sugar
2 to 3 cups brandy


Place grapes 8 half-pint jars and, using a wooden spoon, break the skins. Split the sugar among the jars and stir.
Pour brandy over the grapes to cover by an inch in each jar. Attach lids and store in a dark, cool place (but not the refrigerator) for at least one month.

Adapted from the New York Times

P.S. A shout out to the people of my college years (in a dry town): Cahn-cuhd.

8 responses to Brandy-Infused Concord Grapes

  • ChezAmy says:

    love the labels that says ‘boozy grapes’! <3

    • allfourburners says:

      That’s what the original NYT recipe called them. I fancied the title up for search engines.

  • Vanessa says: likey the name! 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    finally cracked these open. DELICIOUS. thank you!

  • Kayla says:

    This recipe looks amazing! I have a lot of home-grown grapes that I’m trying to figure out what to do with. I have a few questions though. Is it possible to can this recipe? If so, how? If not, how long will they stay good on your basement shelf? Thanks!

    • allfourburners says:

      Hi Kayla, since the grapes are preserved in alcohol, there’s no need to can them. They will probably last at least 6 months in a dark undisturbed spot.

  • Liz says:

    I have a concord variety of table grapes I harvested at a winery and would like to try this. What do I do about the seeds? Your recipe notes the Tomcord are seedless. Thanks!

    • allfourburners says:

      Liz, unfortunately, the seeds in Concord grapes are really small so there’s no good way to remove them without destroying the grapes. I recommend warning the people who use or eat the grapes that they are not seedless.

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