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Gilbert’s Grapes in Grape Liqueur Recipe

bunches of grapes in a trug

Bunches of grapes in a trug

I’m still ploughing through the fourteen kilos of grapes that we were given last week. I made another batch of grape jam, set some aside for wine and rang my friend Marjorie. She lived in France for years, is passionate about two things. Gilbert and food.

Gilbert, her husband, describes himself as, “Rotund, relaxed and retro.” Quietly, he is a true bon vivant. Marjorie’s food is superb.

She immediately suggested her grape liqueur recipe. Then I remembered finishing a wonderful meal at Marjorie’s with little glasses of grapes doused in an exquisite grape liqueur. I imagined that this delicacy had been bought from one of those tiny Parisian shops aimed at the true connoisseur. Well off the beaten tourist track regularly stampeded by Danny and I.

“Oh no,” her tone was reassuring, “Gilbert makes this every year from the grapes on our English vine. He grabs one of my large Le Parfait jars, bungs in a few handfuls of grapes and tops it up with cheap vodka.”

I double checked the ingredients with Gilbert and he was more particular. His recipe is below.

N.B. We have an update on the grape liqueur here . I would recommend adding more sugar that Gilbert’s recipe unless your grapes are very sweet.

Gilbert’s Grapes in Grape Liqueur Recipe
Recipe Type: Liqueur
Author: Fiona Nevile
  • 850 g of grapes (Gilbert’s are deep pink, but he says that any will do)
  • 1 litre of vodka (medium range – supermarket own brands are suitable)
  • 1 tsp of white granulated sugar (optional) to start it all off
  1. Take a sterilised 2 ltr Le Parfait jar.
  2. Wash the grapes, remove the grapes from the stalks and pat dry with a kitchen towel/clean tea towel.
  3. Put the grapes in the jar.
  4. Add the sugar and top up with vodka.
  5. Leave for at least six weeks, gently turning the jar occasionally.
  6. Serve in small glasses, a spoonful of fruit with a dash of the grape liqueur, at the end of a long rich meal.

Tips and tricks:

Use a wide necked jar so as to access the grapes easily. Remember, the fruit will swell when it is sitting in alcohol.

Gilbert says that it’s really important to use the grape liqueur before the next harvest as the flavour starts to deteriorate after about a year. He makes a lot each year to see them through.


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  1. Just did something similar with my concord grapes, young vine with small grapes.Used a quart canning jar, filled it with grapes, added some sugar, a couple of lemon slices and filled it with vodka. Left it in a dark cupboard turning it every now and then. By Christmas I opened it and it is a very flavorful liqueur. Pleased with the results.

  2. Can I ask a question? Does the sweetness of the liqueur come from the grapes as hardly any sugar is added? I have an outside black grape vine which is quite young but this year although the grapes are getting bigger but still small I would like to make a liqueur from them? Any comments please? Thank you Angela

  3. Allison

    Sounds absolutely wonderful but…… grapes have pips, any ideas Anyone Thanks Alli

  4. Oh, thank you! We grow vines in the garden because we love the plants. Our grapes are not big enough to be viable dessert grapes and I too have made more grape jelly than we or our friends can get through! This is a wonderful way of utilising our crop.

  5. I think this was the first entry I ever read here, after I’d been looking for ways to use grapes and found it on google. Hope you are well and ready to start blogging again soon.

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