Combining fresh fruit with mint and lemon juice makes for a unique twist on this classic beverage.
6 cups black California seedless grapes
1/2 cup tamarind paste
900 ml filtered water
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup mint, stemmed
3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups red, green, and black grapes for skewer garnish
As-needed mint for garnish
1. Add 300 m of the water to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add the tamarind paste and palm sugar, and stir to break apart any chunks as they melt. Bring the mixture to a boil, and add the mint. Turn off the heat and allow the mint to steep for about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture through a sieve and press the pulp to extract all the juice; discard remaining pulp. Pour the strained liquid into a pitcher.
2. Put 6 cups of black grapes into a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour the grape juice through a sieve and press the skins to extract the grape juices and some of the pulp into a container. Discard the leftover skins and pulp, and pour the strained juice into the pitcher with the tamarind base.
3. Add the remainder of the water and the lemon juice into the pitcher and stir well. Taste and adjust acid or sugar if needed.
4. Put ice in a glass and pour in the black grape lemonade. Garnish with a grape skewer and spring of mint.
Note: You can also serve the drink with a skewer of frozen grapes. For an alcoholic version of this drink, you can add 200 ml. of vodka to the grape lemonade.
Yields 8 servings