Moustos: Grape Must in Greek Cooking

Greek grapes
Rachele Rossi / Getty Images
  • 0 mins
  • Prep: 0 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Ratings (16)

Moustos, aka grape must, is made using the juice squeezed from fresh grapes. In Greece, we make large quantities during the September grape harvest, and it's a great project for kids. It freezes well and can be used throughout the year.

Moustos is used to make petimezi, a grape syrup known since ancient times that is used like maple syrup, grape must pudding (Moustalevria), and various types of sweets.

What You'll Need

  • 10-11 pounds green or red September grapes (in bunches, with stems)
  • 1/3 cup wood ash (or 1/8 cup crushed eggshells)

How to Make It

  1. If using wood ash, sprinkle the grapes with the wood ash before starting. (Work in manageable batches.)
  2. In a large tub, squeeze the grapes by hand (or use a grape press if available) to get as much juice as possible.
  3. Pour the grapes and juice through a strainer, collecting the juice in a large bowl or stainless pot.
  4. Discard the skins, stems, seeds and any pulp.
  5. If using eggshells, add them to the pot now.
  1. Bring the juice to a boil, and skim off the foam that rises to the top. Boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Leave the pot on the burner, turn off the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  3. Slowly pour the cooled must into containers or a bowl, being careful not to pour out the silt. The cooled grape must can be used immediately or frozen.


  • I make this in batches of 11 pounds of grapes at a time because my pot won't hold more juice. However, if you have a large pot (lobster pot type), you can make more.
  • Alternatively, sprinkle the grapes with wood ash and place them in a woven plastic bag ("burlap" type). Tie the bag securely. Place the bag in a large tub, cover feet with plastic bags (wear shoes) and stomp the grapes. Strain the juice into pot(s) for cooking as above. Great fun for the kids!
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 434
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 13 mg
Carbohydrates 112 g
Dietary Fiber 6 g
Protein 5 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)