From: Green Walnuts: an elegantly bitter harvest
Recipe and photo by Kristen Rasmussen
Anyone can magically transform incredibly tannic walnuts and clear, sugary alcohol into this “black gold” Italian liqueur. I like to keep my nocino pure so I can taste the walnut-y goodness but have successfully experimented with adding vanilla bean and cinnamon. Try pouring nocino over vanilla ice cream, using it in a Manhattan cocktail in place of vermouth, or drinking it on its own as a digestif.
This recipe makes about 2 liters, but you can multiply it as necessary according to the amount of walnuts that you have on hand.
4¼ cups granulated sugar
1.75 liters Everclear (Vodka can also be used, but I strongly prefer the strong stuff, as it leads to a more robust flavor.)
50 green walnuts, cut in quarters
Optional flavorings: citrus peel, cinnamon sticks, black pepper, vanilla bean, etc.
4 half-gallon jars with lids, washed well with hot soapy water, rinsed, and air dried
Smaller bottles with lids
Divide the quartered walnuts, Everclear, and sugar evenly into the cleaned jars, then screw on the lids tightly and shake the jars vigorously. Over time the nocino liquid will darken. It happens quite fast and it’s pretty impressive!… Read More