Coming from a website that specializes in special drinks, this liqueur is one with a intriguing and mysterious past.
Nocino is a dark brown liqueur made from unripe green English Walnuts, a recipe that originated in Northern Italy. During the months of mid June & early July, the walnuts are green and the center is still soft, which makes them easy to cut in half.
To make Nocino, simple cut the fresh green walnuts in halves and pour a strong spirit (Vodka or any neutral spirit) over them to steep. After steeping in a spirit for approximately 40 days, the walnuts are then removed from the now sinister green/black spirit and is mixed with simple syrup.Some family recipes include nutmeg, clove, allspice, whole coffee beans, etc. The ancient Nocino tradition states that the walnuts must be picked by barefoot virgins, but if that is a problem you can buy some online via the http://www.walnuts.us/id3.html
The flavor improves with more aging! A bottle aged for 10 years will make a very special and delicious treat.
Old Fashioned with Nocino Twist
This recipe is courtesy of the book, Saving The Season.
- 2 pounds green walnuts (30 count)
- 750 ml of 80-proof vodka
- 3 ½ cups sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon, in strips
- Zest of 1 orange, in strips
- 5 cloves
- ¼ whole nutmeg
- 1 heaping teaspoon whole dark-roast coffee beans
- Quarter the walnuts and place them in a large glass jar. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Don’t worry that the sugar won’t dissolve immediately. Seal the jar, and place in a sunny place for 40 days. Once every ten days, agitate the jar by inverting it a time or two.
- After 40 days, strain the contents of the jar through a damp jelly bag, and funnel the liqueur into scalded bottled. Store in a cool, dark place for several months—or up to a year or longer. The liqueur will keep indefinitely without refrigeration.