Verjuice, also call verjus (from the French ‘vert jus,’ literally ‘green juice’), is pressed from green-harvested, unripe grapes. This green harvesting or ‘dropping’ of unripe clusters of grapes from the vine takes place midway through the growing process to concentrate energy to the remaining bunches that are destined for wine-making. Gently pressed, these half-ripe grapes yield a juice that is high in acid and low in sugar that is prevented from fermenting through rapid stabilization
The gentle acidity and subtle sweetness of Verjuice heighten the flavours of any fish, chicken, game, red meat, vegetable and fruit dish. It is ideal for deglazing pans for a deliciously rich, reduced, syrupy ‘jus‘ – which is then diluted with a little stock or water; it adds flavourful complexity to vinaigrettes, dressings, syrups, sauces, gravies and reductions and a zesty balance to mayonnaise, marinades, pesto, preserves and pickling juices for fish ceviche, onions, veggies, etc.
Verjuice has a special affinity with nut oils and combines particularly well with walnut and hazelnut oils and emulsifies superbly with ground nut and olive oils.
Verjuice is also delicious as a healthy, non-alcoholic cordial, diluted with still or sparkling water, neat as an aperitif over crushed ice or as a mixer for cocktails and sours.