Monday, September 28, 2015

#HandCraftedEdibles: Nocino (Green Walnut Liqueur)


In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, I invited some of my favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of the next twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes from libations (this week's theme) to cookie platters and everything in between. Hope you'll follow along for inspiration.


Check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board. Or the tab on my blog where I'll round up all the posts: here. And, as this is our first post, here's the plan...

Week 1: Tuesday, September 29th – Libations, Part I
Week 2: Tuesday, October 6th – Spice Blends
Week 3: Tuesday, October 13th – Special Diets
Week 4: Tuesday, October 20th – Jarred Mixes
Week 5: Tuesday, October 27th – Libations, Part II
Week 6: Tuesday, November 3rd – Delicious Jams and Jellies
Week 7: Tuesday, November 10th – Pickles
Week 8: Tuesday, November 17th – Cheese Trays
Week 9: Tuesday, November 24th – Go Nuts
Week 10: Tuesday, December 1st – Chocolatiers’R’Us
Week 11: Tuesday, December 8th – Cookie Platters
Week 12: Tuesday, December 15th – Ways to wrap your handcrafted edibles

Week One of #HandCraftedEdibles

libation (noun li·ba·tion \lī-ˈbā-shən\) - beverage; especially a drink containing alcohol

Cheers to these gals and their lovely libations!

For this edition of #handcraftededibles - libations! - I was inspired to make my own nocino, a green walnut liqueur from Italy, after I traipsed around town with a master forager and cocktail craftsman Katie Blandin Shea. I was researching for an article that just appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Edible Monterey Bay about her. Click to read: Local Libations - Field to Glass.

As I wasn't brave enough to forage on my own, I ordered my green walnuts from Local Harvest. They have become my go-to for seasonal, harder to come by produce items. But here's what green walnuts look like on the tree...

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds green walnuts (they are in season, in California anyway, from June to July)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • zest from 1 organic lemon (I used Meyer lemon because we have a tree)
  • 9 all spice berries
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 nutmeg, split in half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 L vodka
  • 3 C organic granulated sugar
  • 3 C water

Procedure
Part I
Quarter the green walnuts length wise. Add the cut walnuts, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest, all spice berries, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla bean to the lidded glass container. Pour the vodka over the top of the ingredients. Cover and give the container a good shake and let it sit for 6 to 8 weeks.


Part II
Strain the liquid from the solids using a cheesecloth lined strainer. You can strain it again if you like. Pour the strained liquid back into the container.


Add the sugar and water to a medium saucepan and cook until all of the sugar has dissolved. Let simple syrup mixture cool to room temperature. Add the cooled simple syrup to the liquid already in the container. Cover and give the mixture a good shake. Let sit for another 6 to 8 weeks.

Part III
After this aging you can bottle and drink your nocino. The longer you let the bottled nocino set, the more smooth it will taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature. During week 12's event, I'll share a template for my jar labels. Cin cin.

9 comments:

  1. I have never heard of Nocino. You come across some amazing recipes. I am so sorry that I missed this first week.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wendy. I've only sampled it - before the second aging. Can't wait to test it out.

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  2. I think this sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing. Wishing I hadn't missed the first week!

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    Replies
    1. We're just happy you'll join us for the rest. Thanks, Terri.

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  3. I've never heard of nocino and I had no idea that you could make liquor from walnuts. So neat!

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    Replies
    1. I have discovered you can make booze out of just about anything! ;)

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  4. I learned so many new things just now - this sounds amazing; what does it taste like?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebekah. It tastes like a slightly more tannin-y amaretto.

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