Home » Cooked grape must

Cooked grape must

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Mosto cotto d'uva

Cartellate, mustazzzoli, pabassini, cantucci and biscuits with must: many recipes that have among the ingredients the cooked grape must. One reduction of grapes that, depending on the region, can be flavoured with orange peel, Mandarin, cinnamon, star anise, clove, pieces of quince. The custom of reducing the grape must until you get a sort of sweet cream, dark and velvety, is typical of Southern Italy. In Sardinia it takes the name of Sapa. In Sicily and Puglia it is “vinu cottu” or “Saba”, in Abruzzo the cooked must is a Pat, a traditional agri-food product.

Cooked must: use in the kitchen

Obviously the cooked must is prepared in harvest time, with red or white grape must. Color doesn't matter, so much at the end of the reduction process you will still get a sort of very dark and very sweet syrup. Just in the harvest it is time to take advantage of the’GRAPES IN THE KITCHEN IN SWEET AND SAVORY RECIPES. Sweetness, which is the natural one of grapes, varies depending on the type of vine used. Cooked grape must was once used as a sweetener, instead of honey or sugar, reserved for the richest.

Little perishable, the cooked it keeps very well for years, Indeed, tends to refine and improve with the passage of time. Its main use was during the Christmas holidays, to create traditional sweets and biscuits like the Apulian cartellate, sicilian mustazzoli, the CAKE WITH COOKED MUST AND GRAPES, sardinian pan di sapa or pabassini, the biscuits with must and the nevole abbruzzesi or the Tuscan cantucci. Obviously the cooked grape must is also perfect to accompany cheeses or, creatively, to season TORTELLI WITH RICOTTA AND HAZELNUTS.

How to make cooked must

The basic process is very simple. You must of course get the must. Immediate boiling of the wort will block, thanks to the heat, fermentation. But it's not enough: the must must boil slowly over very low heat for hours, until the liquid is reduced to a quarter of the original volume. If you use a liter of must, you will have to get 250 grams of cooked must. If you love intense and particular flavors, you can add to the must during cooking peels of green mandarins or oranges, pieces of apple or quince pear and spices such as cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Fruit, containing pectin, will give the cooked must a more sticky consistency and, in turn, it will candie in the sugary liquid becoming delicious. The spices give the cooked must a typical Christmas aroma.

Obviously the must is non-alcoholic, does not contain traces of alcohol, since boiling immediately stops fermentation and, Therefore, the transformation of sugars into alcohol.

Mosto cotto d'uva


Portions: 4 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )


5 liters of grape must

to feeling and optional: clove, cinnamon, Orange Zest, green mandarin peel, pieces of apple or quince pear


Fresh must be brought to a boil very quickly, to stop fermentation. Once the fermentation is stopped, you can also let it cool and store in the refrigerator and prepare the must cooked later.

Put the wort in a large pot, bring it to a boil, lower the heat and, with the help of a skimmer, eliminate the foam that will rise to the surface. At this point, you can continue with the cooking, always over very low heat and stirring occasionally.

Remember that the must must be reduced from 5 liters to about 1,3 liters: no need to reduce it all at once. If you don't have time, since it takes hours, you can reduce it by one half and then let it cool. Once cold, strain it into a narrow mesh colander, in order to eliminate any residues and store it in the refrigerator. The next day, continue cooking until you reach the desired reduction.

If you want, and especially if you plan to use cooked grape must for biscuits, cakes or other Christmas preparations, you can flavor it with peels of green mandarins, fresh or dried orange peel, cinnamon or cloves. My father-in-law in Sardinia prepares the saba (or sapa), following his mother's recipe and also adds one or two quinces in small pieces. Fruit releases a little pectin, making the cooked must even thicker and bleaches inside the syrup. It is very good to taste and, Obviously, becomes a sweet caloric bomb.

Once the cooked grape must has been obtained, you can put it in sterilized bottles or jars and store it in the dark. Cooked must, especially when it is reduced by the rule 1 liter-250 grams, it is preserved for a very long time indeed, refines in bottle and becomes even thicker and tastier. Ready to prepare desserts or to combine it with blue or aged cheeses. Bon appétit!

You tried this recipe?
If you liked tagging me on Instagram @sicilianicreativi

You've already seen these recipes?


Charles February 20, 2022 - 20:55

Forgive me for addressing you in English. Though I love your country and your cuccina, my Italian is limited. Uno pocco. I am interested in your recipe for making sapa. Having stopped fermentation by boiling, could one reduce the must overnight by using a slow-cooker? Gazie.

Ada Parisi 21 February 2022 - 09:49

Hi Charles, thanks for contacting me, I understand English well, don’t worry. I haven’t a slow cooker but I think that you can definitely use it to reduce the grape must. It must be thick and slightly sticky. Consider that to make sapa, the more you reduce it, the better it is preserved. For the sapa you can also add orange peel, both fresh and dried, pieces of apple or quince, spices such as cloves and cinnamon to the must. If you prepare it try my sapa cake!Happy day, ADA


Leave a comment

* Using this form you accept the storage and management of your data from this website. * By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.