Thursday, July 10

A Homemade Walnut Booze That's Biblical...


A booze that's damn near biblical - not only because of its rich smooth spicy flavor of walnuts, clove, vanilla and cinnamon but it must sit in the sun for 40 days and 40 nights as the first step in making it! Pour a glass and serve alongside creamy vanilla panna cotta or topped on gelato for a decadent end to the meal.

A thriving local tradition is making homemade liquor - from grappa infused with fruits & herbs, to visner & visciolino (cherry liquors), nocino (walnuts) & many more! Whenever offered a homemade digestivo (after dinner drink) you must oblige! It is homemade & thus a gift from the house....sometimes a wonderfully delicious drink that you are beggin for more and other times...WOW! absolute firewater! In Italy it's easy to find 95%-97% pure alcohol at any where from the hardware store to the "Costco" surplus shopping stores. And with a walnut grove a kilometer down the road from our farmhouse, this has become a classic in our house.
Picking walnuts with my cousin


I 've told the story before but many of my homemade liquors are recipes from the wonderful Mamma Mochi teaching me her age old recipes of making digestivi. She is my mentor of sorts when it comes to all things 'spirits'! As usual, the recipe varies depending on where you live. 
This Nocino recipe for example uses whole green nuts and MUST sit in the sun & stirred for 40 days, then brought in to sit in the dark for another 30 days before you filter. After that, the first pour is traditionally on Christmas Eve! ...maybe I'll leave a little out for Babbo Natale this year!


Nocino
Walnut Liqueur
25 green young walnuts
1 kilo (or just a bit less) of sugar
1 liter of pure alcohol (grappa, everclear or vodka)
250 grams of water
stick of vanilla
stick of cinnamon
5 -7 cloves

Mix together well.
Let sit in sun for 40 days - stirring & mixing the sugar each day.
Then let sit for another month in cool dark storage.
Filter & bottle.
You can let the nocino age if you would like - some prefer to drink immediately & those shelf the bottle for 2 years or more! Traditionally, the first glass should be poured on Christmas Eve.

There is also a recipe for the 'used nuts' with Marsala ...coming soon!

Maria Mochi, my mentor
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