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Four years ago I posted a recipe for simple syrup made with Concord grapes. Concord grapes come only in the fall and they cannot be forgotten. They are the definitive sweet grape flavor. They also have skins you could make a tire from.

The original recipe is repeated below but I have a new one that comes first. Different concept and a different, sweeter and more intense flavor. Make my version on Day 1 and don’t use until Day 2. A day in the fridge enables the syrup transition from really good to triumphant.

The old recipe called for skinning the grapes and using a blender to create the syrup. That’s necessary because the skins of Concord grapes are very tough. Suzi and I are lucky enough to have a Vitamix so we did not need to skin. The Vitamix destroyed those tire-ready skins.

In my recipe, you cook the grapes, let them cool, and then strain so that the skins are removed. I find this much easier.

How to use this syrup? All the usual places:

  • Waffles, of course
  • Pancakes, naturally
  • Biscuits, in place of jam or honey
  • Beverage of all kinds, like with champagne

Brian’s Concord Grape Syrup

Yield: 2 cups


  • 2 cups stemmed Concord grapes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar


Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high. Constantly stir with a wooden spoon, crushing the grapes as much as possible. Bring to a boil, allow to simmer for two minutes, then remove from the heat.

Cool to room temperature. Sieve into a jar, crushing as many remaining grapes as possible. Refrigerate and use for up to a week.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

Original Recipe for Concord Grape Syrup

Yield: 1 cup


  • 1 ½ pounds of concord grapes
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • Juice of one medium lemon


Pull the grapes off the stems and place is a blender, ideally a Vitamix. Puree for at least one minute. In the Vitamix, you’ll hear the grape seeds smacking the sides of the container and then gradually the sound will dissipate. Those seeds, with important anti-oxidants, are being ground up to be healthfully enjoyed.

Strain the liquid through a sieve, pressing to get as much juice out as possible.

Put the juice, the sugar, and the lemon juice in a medium sauce pan and stir to mix. On medium-low heat, cook uncovered until the mixture is simmering, while stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces to a syrupy consistency.

Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in a glass container. Use within two weeks.

Source: adapted from I Love Corn by Lisa Skye