Butternut-Sage Martini

By • January 4, 2012 • 26 Comments

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Author Notes: When I make my Butternut-Sage Scones, there's always a bit of butternut liquid leftover from draining the cooked squash. One day, I thought why not turn it into a simple syrup, not sure of what I'd actually use the syrup for, and this martini was born. The Maple-Sage Sugared Walnuts are adapted from the recipe for Maple Sugared Pecans in the cookbook In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley, one of my favorite cookbooks.mrslarkin

Serves one

For butternut-sage simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup butternut liquid, drained from a cooked, mashed butternut squash (see Butternut-Sage Scones recipe), or water
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
  1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to steam. Remove from heat, let cool while the sage infuses the syrup.
  2. When cool, strain syrup into a jar. Keeps for a week in the refrigerator.

For the maple-sage sugared walnuts and the butternut-sage martini

  • 1 cup raw walnuts, halves and pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • fresh sage leaf – one large, one small
  • 1/4 ounce Nocello (walnut liqueur)
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce butternut-sage syrup, plus more for rimming glass
  • 1 tablespoon finely crushed maple sugared walnuts
  1. FOR THE MAPLE SUGARED WALNUTS: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place walnuts and chopped sage in a small mixing bowl. Mix egg white and maple syrup in a small cup. Add to walnuts and stir well. Sprinkle the brown sugar over and toss to coat nuts completely. Spill walnuts onto cookie sheet, and spread out in one layer.
  2. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring a few times, until nuts are nicely toasted. Slide parchment off of hot cookie sheet onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Finely crush a small amount of nuts equal to about a tablespoon. I use my mortar and pestle. Reserve the rest of the walnuts for another use.
  4. Alternatively, skip the maple sugared walnuts and simply rim the glass in granulated maple sugar.
  5. FOR THE BUTTERNUT-SAGE MARTINI: Rub inside of martini glass, as well as outer edge, with large sage leaf.
  6. Place 1 tablespoon butternut-sage syrup in a flat plate. Dip rim of glass in syrup, turning edge of glass all the way around.
  7. Place crushed maple sugared walnuts, or granulated maple sugar, in a flat plate. Dip wet rim of glass into the mixture, turning edge of glass all the way around.
  8. In a cocktail shaker filled 2/3 with ice cubes, add Nocello, vodka and butternut-sage syrup. Shake. Pour into prepared glass. Garnish with small sage leaf.
  9. Cin cin!
Jump to Comments (26)

Comments (26) Questions (0)

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about 1 hour ago Panfusine

WOAH.. this sounds simply SUPERB MrsLarkin!

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over 2 years ago oregon cassie

Made this as an opener to our "iron chef" style party this winter ( main ingredient was winter squash). I subbed hazelnuts & hazelnut liqueur -- although it wasn't as pretty as your photo (mine was more brownish) it tasted great & everyone was impressed with the creativity of it (I did give Food52 the credit!).

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

What fun! So glad you enjoyed the martini.

Checker

almost 3 years ago checker

Our shrimp recipe has been submitted, just in time. This sounds fantastic. Great idea!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yay! Cin cin! and thanks!

Photo_squirrel

almost 3 years ago LE BEC FIN

mrs l, thnx so much for that link. I have alot to learn about the vastness of the food52 recipe library.

what i think i realize now is that nocino and orahovac are GREEN walnut liquer, and the Nocino I recommended is just Walnut liquer. i hadn't realized that before. I look forward to finding out how they taste different.

Photo_squirrel

almost 3 years ago LE BEC FIN

lynnegreen,i bet your croatian product would be awfully similar to the nocino. btw, you are so walnut-wealthy in CA; you might want to know about making your own green walnut liquer (i'm hoping to do this in the next season for them, but because i'm in MA, i'll have to mail -order them!)). There is a whole thread devoted to this on chowhound.com.:
http://chowhound.chow.com...

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

LBF, fyi there's a recipe on the site for nocino http://www.food52.com/recipes...

Photo_squirrel

almost 3 years ago LE BEC FIN

mrsL, i must say, if anyone ever asked you to prove that you were an innovative person, this recipe would certainly knock them off the board!I must say, this outside-the-box thinking really really impresses me.

Re-walnut liquer, i don't know Nocello but I am a huge fan of the small batch artisinal Nocino della Cristina, from Napa. I tasted it first at a friend's Napa house, and fell hard for it. It is in my cupboard now! A tremendous product, expensive because it is really robustly walnut flavored (unlike frangelico, which, imo doesn't even taste like hazelnuts). You say you haven't tasted Nocello; what did you use to test your recipe?
Well, i hope you get yourself a bottle of Nocino della Cristina. You certainly deserve it. And i bet the Nocino folks would love to see your recipe. Kudos to you MrsL!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thank you LBF! You are too kind. I have never tried the Nocino/orahovac. It sounds very intriguing! The Nocello is what I used in this recipe.

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almost 3 years ago lynnegreen

Do you think orahovac (green walnut brandy from Croatia, which we just happened to fall in love with and bring back from Dubrovnik this week) would substitute for the Nocello? I looked on line for Nocello and don't see it in my area (Los Angeles)

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

hmmm, I'm not familiar with the flavor profile of orahovac. Sounds similar to Nocino, which I've never had, and heard has a bittersweet flavor. But if you've got the orahovac in your bar already, I'd probably give it a shot! fyi, see comment below to lapadia about the nocello.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

hmmm, I'm not familiar with the flavor profile of orahovac. Sounds similar to Nocino, which I've never had, and heard has a bittersweet flavor. But if you've got the orahovac in your bar already, I'd probably give it a shot! fyi, see comment below to lapadia about the nocello.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

hmmm, I'm not familiar with the flavor profile of orahovac. Sounds similar to Nocino, which I've never had, and heard has a bittersweet flavor. But if you've got the orahovac in your bar already, I'd probably give it a shot! fyi, see comment below to lapadia about the nocello.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

Wow!! Thanks for sharing your creation mrslarkin! (I haven't been able to find Nocello)

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks, lapadia. I bet Frangelico, or any other sweet nutty liqueur, would be just as tasty. Here's the link to the Nocello - would your liquor store be able to order some? http://www.toschi.it/en... But if you've got Frangelico, I'd just use that.

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

What a stunning and clever cocktail! I bet this tastes amazing.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thank you gingerroot!

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

That's about the most gorgeous boozy drink shot I have ever seen. The best baking class ever would be you serving up some of these babies and then moving on to Part the Second of your butternut sage scone workshop.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

omg that would be one fun cooking class. thanks Bevi!

Lorigoldsby

almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

When I saw the picture, I thought..."Can I get one of MrsL's scones with that?

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

:) ha!

Gator_cake

almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Gorgeous + brilliant = mrslarkin's recipes!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

*blush* thank you hla!

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Incredible!!, so creative and sounds so good!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

thank you sdebrango!! It's pretty yummy!