Author Notes: There is a lot of religious ceremony when making Nocino. The walnuts are picked on June 24th, the feast day of St. Giovanni. (In California the walnuts ripen a little earlier...at the end of May. ) The ingredients are all measured in amounts of 3, 7, and 21...all mystical numbers in The Church. Sister Marys Renata through SM Camilla would be horrified to know how little I remember of 12 years of Catholic School!) But, all ceremony aside, if you like walnuts , you will love this liqueur. You make it in late spring and it is ready to be filtered and bottled by Christmas. - dymnyno
Serves 1 litre
- 21 green walnuts, cleaned and quartered
- 2 cinanamon sticks
- 3 vanilla beans
- zest of an orange
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cup sugar(depending on how sweet you like liqueur to be) I use about 2 cups
- 7 juniper berries
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 litre cheap vodka
- Clean and quarter the green walnuts. They will be very soft and easy to cut. (wear gloves...walnuts really stain!)
- Into a large jar or glass crock, put the quartered walnuts, sugar , orange zest, cloves, cinnamon sticks, juniper berries, whole vanilla beans and vodka.
- Leave for 7 weeks, shake every couple of days (3?) It will become very dark brown.
- After 7 weeks, take out all the walnuts, etc.
- Strain the liqueur through layers of cheesecloth. Leave for at least 6 months, then strain again.
- Put into unique bottles as gifts (I often use old Knob Creek bottles ...I have lots)
- The Nocino will mellow and improve in flavor with time. I have a batch going every year---ready for gifting.
- Remember that this is strong alcohol and drink responsibly. I recently gave a bottle to two friends who drank the whole bottle...boy did they have hangovers!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Italian Dessert
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift