Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nocino: Day 1

From Wiki:
Nocino is a sticky dark brown liqueur from the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is made from unripe green walnuts steeped in spirit. It has an aromatic but bittersweet flavor. It may be homemade, and is also available commercially in bottled form. Commercially available Nocino is typically 40% alcohol by volume, or 80 proof.

Nocino is believed to have originally been produced by the Celts, and, during the Middle Ages, Italian monasteries used nocino for its medicinal properties and also as an alcoholic treat.

I've been hearing about this liqueur for so long and inevitably I think about it right after the short window for green walnuts closes. But not this year! I pre-ordered my walnuts and when they arrived at my doorstep on Friday the jar was washed, booze bought, and off I went. I'll do monthly updates on this process, but don't expect to really enjoy it for a year. Here is the recipe that I am following:

30 Walnuts, green & unripe
1 liter of 100 proof vodka (or Everclear)
1 Lemon zest - about a quarter of the lemon
2 Cinnamon sticks
5 Cloves
2 1/2 C. Sugar

Wipe down the walnuts with a wet rag and cut them in quarters. Toast the cinnamon and clove until aromatic. Place in a jar with the remaining ingredients and cover. Shake the jar daily for a month, taste, adjust and keep going. When you're satisfied, filter out the nuts and spices and continue aging until you're happy as an Italian clam.

You can also play with the spices, the sugar (think muscovado or brown), and even the liqueurs. I'm also playing with the fruit. I followed this base recipe with some green apples and chiogga beets.


Tri2Cook said...

Cool stuff Rob. I've been playing with "beers" (in the style of ginger beer, not actual beer). I have a batch I'm calling chocolate stout (basically a yeast-fermented chocolate stock) in the fridge and a lilac beer currently fermenting. Your recipe sounds really good but there are no green walnuts around here so I probably won't get to try it.

Kendra said...

I have green walnuts on my trees.... but those look like limes in the jar...