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Grapes Make Great Garnish

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Cocktail garnish isn’t always there just to look good. Sometimes its aromatic properties add to the drink experience. Sometimes it enhances the flavor of the beverage. And sometimes the garnish is good enough to eat on its own.

That’s the case with these pickled grapes. I found the recipe in the book Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It And Other Kitchen Projects by Karen Solomon. She recommends serving them in place of the cocktail onion in a Gibson or served as a relish alongside roast chicken. You might also try them in a vodka or gin Martini, and grapes make a great garnish in a Gin & Tonic. 

I’ve had my jar in the refrigerator for a few weeks. The grapes retain their plumpness but have a delicious but not overpowering garlic and vinegar note. They’re good enough to eat even without a cocktail in hand.  

Pickled Grapes

Makes about 2 cups
Time commitment: 
3 to 7 days

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
3 cloves
1 (2-inch) piece green onion (from the white part)
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1 (1/4-inch) slice fresh ginger
2 cups seedless grapes, stemmed and washed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar, plus more 
as needed
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, plus more as needed

Instructions Drop the garlic, cloves, green onion, cinnamon, and ginger into the bottom of a clean pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the grapes to the jar, packing them tightly without crushing. (Shaking the jar from time to time will assist with this process.)

Sprinkle on the sugar and salt, and pour in the vinegar (if it doesn’t fill the jar halfway, feel free to add a little more). Next, pour in the water (topping off if necessary to completely cover the fruit). Secure the lid tightly and shake the jar gently to dissolve the salt and sugar.

Let sit out on the countertop for 3 days or inside the refrigerator for 1 week, shaking the jar gently daily to 
distribute the flavors.

How to Store It: Refrigerated, these will keep for up to 1 year.

Reprinted with permission from Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It And Other Kitchen Projects by Karen Solomon, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.




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