Make Ahead


December  7, 2009
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 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
In This Recipe
  1. Clean and quarter the green walnuts. They will be very soft and easy to cut. (wear gloves...walnuts really stain!)
  2. Into a large jar or glass crock, put the quartered walnuts, sugar , orange zest, cloves, cinnamon sticks, juniper berries, whole vanilla beans and vodka.
  3. Leave for 7 weeks, shake every couple of days (3?) It will become very dark brown.
  4. After 7 weeks, take out all the walnuts, etc.
  5. Strain the liqueur through layers of cheesecloth. Leave for at least 6 months, then strain again.
  6. Put into unique bottles as gifts (I often use old Knob Creek bottles ...I have lots)
  7. The Nocino will mellow and improve in flavor with time. I have a batch going every year---ready for gifting.
  8. 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!

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