Moustos (Greek Grape Must)

Greek grapes
Rachele Rossi / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
430 Calories
1g Fat
113g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 430
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 12mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 113g 41%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 97g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 1191mg 25%
*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.)

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.

Moustos is used to make petimezi, a grape syrup that's used like maple, grape must pudding (moustalevria), and various other Greek sweets.

For this recipe, you will need 1/3 cup wood ash, or 1/8 cup crushed eggshells.


  • 10 to 11 pounds green or red September grapes, in bunches, with stems

  • 1/3 cup wood ash, or 1/8 cup crushed eggshells

Steps 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 through a strainer, collecting the juice in a large bowl or stainless pot.

  4. Discard the skins, stems, seeds, and any pulp. If using eggshells, add them to the pot now.

  5. Bring the juice to a boil and skim off the foam that rises to the top. Boil for 5 minutes.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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