Petimezi: Grape Syrup (Grape Molasses)

Petimezi on Yogurt with Grape Molasses Syrup

The Spruce / Jim Stanfield

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 768 servings
Yield: 3 gallons
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
26 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 768
Amount per serving
Calories 26
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 73mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Greek: πετιμέζι, pronounced peh-tee-MEH-zee

This is a specialty on the Greek island of Crete and one of the oldest (most ancient) recipes I know. Try this naturally sweet (no sugar added) syrup on yogurt, ice cream, in tea, on pancakes, in baking, and as a topping for snow. A teaspoon also works wonders for sore throats and colds. On Crete, it's made in large quantities in September when grapes are harvested and used throughout the year.


  • 65 pounds white grapes, pale green on stems, or 3 gallons of green grape must

  • 3/4 cup wood ash

  • Rose-scented pelargonium leaves, scented geranium or bay leaves, for storing

Steps to Make It

If Starting From Scratch

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Working in manageable batches, in a large tub, squeeze the grapes by hand (or use a grape press) to get as much juice as possible.

  3. Pour the grapes and juice through a strainer, collecting the juice in a large bowl or pot. Discard the skins, seeds, and any pulp.

  4. Add 4 tablespoons of wood ash to a gallon of juice, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes. It will make a froth.

  5. Strain the juice through the tulle into a bowl, and discard any collected seeds and ash.

  6. Prepare the petimezi in batches of 1 or 2 quarts each. Bring the juice to a boil, lower the heat to the lowest setting, and cook uncovered for 1 hour.

  7. Skim off any froth that rises. The resulting syrup should be the consistency of thin maple syrup. It will be a dark reddish-brown color.

If Starting With Grape Must

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Boil the must for at least 1 hour, until it thickens enough to coat a spoon (slow drip).

  3. Store in clean jars with a leaf of rose-scented pelargonium or a bay leaf (for a less sweet taste), away from light.

  4. Seal jars after the syrup has cooled completely. Do not refrigerate.


  • About 65 pounds of grapes will yield about 3 gallons of juice.
  • You'll need a piece of tulle for this recipe.
  • Over time, the syrup may thicken. To thin, place the jar in a pot with 1 to 2 inches of water and warm gently (do not boil).

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