Moustos, aka grape must, is made using the juice squeezed from fresh grapes. In Greece, 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.
- 10 to 11 pounds green or red September grapes (in bunches, with stems)
- 1/3 cup wood ash (or 1/8 cup crushed eggshells)
If using wood ash, sprinkle the grapes with the wood ash before starting. Work in manageable batches.
In a large tub, squeeze the grapes by hand (or use a grape press if available) to get as much juice as possible.
Pour the grapes through a strainer, collecting the juice in a large bowl or stainless pot.
Discard the skins, stems, seeds, and any pulp. If using eggshells, add them to the pot now.
Bring the juice to a boil and skim off the foam that rises to the top. Boil for 5 minutes.
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.
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.
- This recipe calls for making 11 pounds of grapes at a time. However, if you have a large pot (lobster pot type), you can make more.
- To get the kids involved, instead of squeezing the grapes by hand or with a press, you can use your feet—I Love Lucy-style! After sprinkling the grapes with wood ash, place them in a woven "burlap"-type plastic bag. Tie the bag securely and place in a large tub. Cover your feet with plastic bags (wear shoes) and stomp the grapes. Strain the juice into a pot for cooking as directed.