Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Nocino (Green Walnut Liqueur) & Vin de Noix


  • Please log in to reply
256 replies to this topic

#241 MikeInSacto

MikeInSacto
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:22 PM

I just got some green walnuts at the civic center farmer's market in SF---hopefully not too late. They mostly had rather more developed shells under the green that I've seen in others' pictures. We'll see...

View Post


FWIW, a friend of mine claims to have had pretty good luck making nocino with walnuts that have gotten a bit beyond the "stick a pin through them" stage. Hope it works for you.

#242 djyee100

djyee100
  • society donor
  • 1,542 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:56 PM

BTR, I thought my walnuts were a bit more mature than ideal. I'm just going to make sure I don't overextract, since the tannins in the older walnuts will make the final product bitter. Letting the nocino age will help reduce the tannins, also.

My recipe says to extract from 6-8 wks, before draining off the green walnuts. I'll definitely be checking at week 6, if not a little sooner.

#243 Margaret Pilgrim

Margaret Pilgrim
  • participating member
  • 1,437 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 19 July 2009 - 03:19 PM

I just got some green walnuts at the civic center farmer's market in SF---hopefully not too late. They mostly had rather more developed shells under the green that I've seen in others' pictures. We'll see...

View Post


FWIW, a friend of mine claims to have had pretty good luck making nocino with walnuts that have gotten a bit beyond the "stick a pin through them" stage. Hope it works for you.

View Post

We have in the past used older nuts with no difference in quality in the finished products. The only qualifier, we have found, is time. Both Vin de Noix and Nocino have unbelievably long shelf life and if kept in a cool dark place will continue to mellow for years. Our 2004 batches are superb now.

BTR, I thought my walnuts were a bit more mature than ideal. I'm just going to make sure I don't overextract, since the tannins in the older walnuts will make the final product bitter. Letting the nocino age will help reduce the tannins, also.
My recipe says to extract from 6-8 wks, before draining off the green walnuts. I'll definitely be checking at week 6, if not a little sooner.

View Post

I'm not at all sure that more mature nuts would have more tannin. In fact, I think that the tannin might be stronger in the very green immature nuts. IMHO...
eGullet member #80.

#244 olivina

olivina
  • participating member
  • 148 posts
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

I picked way too many green walnuts on Lummi Island this past Saturday and was wondering if anyone in the Seattle area would like a batch. They are in great shape, I think the trees mature slower up there than in Cali or in eastern Wash. Give me a holla and I'll hook you up! Hate to see them go to waste!

Edited by olivina, 22 July 2009 - 03:47 PM.


#245 jmfangio

jmfangio
  • participating member
  • 319 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 27 July 2009 - 05:00 PM

Last night I ran a quick quality control test (just a fancy way of saying that I'm getting anxious, and couldn't resist cracking open one of the jars for a taste). I still have eight days to go by the calendar, but it already tastes fantastic. Next week can't come soon enough!
Posted Image

Edited by jmfangio, 27 July 2009 - 05:01 PM.

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

#246 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,527 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 14 September 2009 - 06:26 AM

Strained and added my sugar syrup to the nocino today. I ended up with 800 grams of strained alcohol to which I added 800 grams of a mixture of 500 grams sugar and 600 grams of water.

Had a little taste - packs a wallop - but I can tell it's going to develop into something amazing!

#247 MikeInSacto

MikeInSacto
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:43 PM

Bumping this up as my '09 Nocino was recently opened for the holidays. It came out very nicely, with rich walnut flavor and a smooth finish. A neighbor who was trying it for the first time immediately volunteered everything from her two walnut trees for next year's harvest. This is good - no more leaning out the back of a pickup truck over a slough trying to grab a few more nuts!

I also did my first ever head-to-head tasting with a commercial product. One of my Christmas presents was a bottle of "Nux Alpina" nocino from Destillerie Purkhardt in Austria. Last night, I popped it open and tasted it next to mine. The Austrian product was slightly less cloudy (filtered, no doubt) but the color of the two was identical. Nose and flavorwise, the Nux Alpina is quite spicy with plenty of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove in it. (The label mentions that they use botanicals in addition to spices.) It's smooth and sweet. Overall, a lovely drink that puts you in the holiday spirit with its spices. Mine is less oriented towards spice and more towards the walnut flavor. I add the typical spices along with some citrus peel and such but their flavors are more in the background than with the Austrian version. Overall, I like mine better. To me, the spices in the Nux Alpina make it more of a generic spiced liqueur. I think mine retains decent complexity while providing more of the walnut flavor that makes nocino unique. (Then again, I can't really claim to be objective about this, either!)

Anyone else crack a bottle of their nocino recently?

#248 eas

eas
  • participating member
  • 127 posts
  • Location:with coffee in hand

Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:08 PM

Even as importer of the Nux Alpina with ready access to green walnuts, I'm all the more green from not making my own batch these past four years (perhaps knowing well the fate of my nuts in that green line at customs?). As noted above, the style of the Nux and indeed the region's walnut liqueur is more weighted towards the spices and botanicals, and this you'll find as well extending into certain parts of northern Italy. As its served digestif or with espresso, its perhaps unsurprising it has more in common with Amari/Bitter. Other walnut liqueurs we explored went even further down this path, and for those that love bitter and herbal it's well worth the venture. In the opposite direction, we did find some aged like fine Balsamic vinegar, though less useful in service. The making and sharing is a great tradition of nocino, in all its varieties in design, vagaries of production, and enjoyment in service.

#249 MikeInSacto

MikeInSacto
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 04 January 2010 - 09:32 PM

Thanks for that reply - I knew of the tradition of making walnut liqueurs, but I don't know much about the variety and how they're used in meals in Europe.

Gotta get myself to the Alps, I guess!

#250 jmfangio

jmfangio
  • participating member
  • 319 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:57 PM

Time for the annual Nocino thread bump!

This year, I'd already ordered my walnuts from Mt. Lassen Farms, then discovered a walnut tree just a few blocks from me. I left a note (along with my recipe) for the homeowners, and they were more than happy for me to come and take away as many as I like, before the squirrels get to them and make a mess all over their yard. So, now, I have 25 freakin' pounds of green walnuts. I'm making a couple of extra batches of Nocino, planning on Vin de Noix as well, and giving away as many as I can to friends so they can make their own, but does anyone know if I can freeze any leftover green walnuts, to use in a month or so when I'll have the space to put up another batch?

And, apparently, my cat found the walnuts very interesting.

Attached Images

  • 34163_406717252273_557902273_4987415_5619410_n.jpg

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

#251 MikeInSacto

MikeInSacto
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:55 PM

Wow - I think you came up with even more than I did! My first batch was picked from the tree across the street from my house on June 12 (which is pretty late for around here). I ended up with about 16 lbs of walnuts in 5 1/2 1.75 liter bottles of vodka. A week later, I picked another 5 lbs or so from a couple of other trees in the neighborhood that always ripen later. (I think the early tree is an English walnut and the two late ones are black walnuts, but that's an uneducated guess on my part.) They're all soaking away as of now.

My aim for this batch is to let it age for at least a year after straining out the nuts. I've had some indications that extending the aging period will be good for it. I'm thinking of aging some of it in unsealed containers to promote some oxidation. I guess we'll see what happens...

After a week for egullet.jpg

#252 vonmoishe

vonmoishe
  • participating member
  • 4 posts

Posted 21 August 2010 - 06:03 AM

I'm making six batches of Nocino this year, and I've just taken the walnuts out after a two month soak. Five of the batches look and smell great. One was yellowish instead of motor oil brown, and smelled pretty off, so I dumped it. Does anyone know why this happened?

#253 MikeInSacto

MikeInSacto
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:50 PM

I've never had mine come out anything but dark brown/black, so I don't know what could have happened to your yellow batch. Were all of the batches from the same walnuts?

I strained mine off the nuts a couple of weeks ago. Interestingly, the batch that came from the tree that ripens earlier was black, but clear in the sense that it wasn't cloudy. The smaller batch (from two trees that ripen a few weeks later every year) was black but cloudy. It looked like it contained a lot of suspended gunk. It doesn't taste bad, so I figure it'll settle out sooner or later. Both batches are in the basement in their non-sealed containers. They've had a good dose of syrup added but further adjustments are expected in that department.

#254 LoneSavant

LoneSavant
  • participating member
  • 82 posts
  • Location:West Michigan

Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:23 AM

Giving this thread a bump, as I'm going out for a midsummer's romp in the woods and returning with elder blow, nettles, and plenty of green walnuts! Yeah June! :biggrin:
Torren O'Haire - Private Chef, FMSC Tablemaster, Culinary Scholar
"life is a combination of magic and pasta"
-F. Fellini
"We should never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."
-J. Child

#255 MikeInSacto

MikeInSacto
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:56 PM

I'm passing on this year's harvest, but I poured some of the 2010 vintage for some friends on Sunday night. It's tasting very good right now.

#256 peebs

peebs
  • new member
  • 1 posts

Posted 24 May 2014 - 06:41 AM

I was walking along a city park yesterday and came across a tree that looked like a pecan tree, as far as its leaves went, but had these beautiful big green balls instead of green pecans.  Wahoooo!!  I've been looking for a walnut tree in my town, for the precise reason that I've been wanting to make a proper nocino.  I live in Austin, TX so pecans are in abundance but walnuts are not nearly as prevalent.  I'm assuming this is a black walnut, as I believe they are more common in the South.  

 

Anyway, I wanted to resurrect this great thread, because I came home after my find and was looking around on the internet for more information on nocino, came across this thread, and read it cover to cover.  This thread has completely opened my eyes to nocino, and something i'd never even heard of before, vin de noix!  I made a nocino a couple of years ago with green pecans, but I had no idea what I was doing.  I macerated for what was probably waaay too long, like 8 months.  It was tar-like, sediment-y, and oh-so-bitter by then, and I didn't think that could be right, so I threw it out, aaagggh!  Had I read this thread before I did that I never would have thrown it out.  I would have just packed it away in the back of my larder and forgotten about it.  Then maybe brought it out again a year or two later to discover a beautiful, nutty elixir.  It kills me because I really don't mind waiting - when it comes to making liqueurs it's so easy to just forget all about it.  It pops into your head every few months, and one thinks, "Ah, I bet my ___ liqueur will be ready soon." I like how it occurs to me without impatience (and I am not a particularly patient person).  Makes me think this uncharacteristic patience would translate well into other aged food items - cheese and cured meats, if I could ever get around to trying my hand at them!

 

Headed out now to gather the green walnuts.  I think I'll try a pecan one too and compare them.  Going to just put them up in some vodka because I happen to have quite a bit and don't really drink it.  I think I'll just macerate the walnuts themselves at first, and add spices later, because I don't want to overdo it on the spice.  I think I'll incorporate the maple syrup and a vanilla bean.  We shall see!


  • Rafa likes this

#257 bostonapothecary

bostonapothecary
  • participating member
  • 1,258 posts
  • Location:have shaker will travel

Posted 25 May 2014 - 09:38 AM

I don't know if this will help anyone:

 

http://www.culinarya...pdfs/Nocino.pdf

 

A great mini tutorial on making nocino with some good rules of thumb


  • Rafa likes this
abstract expressionist beverage compounder
creator of acquired tastes
bostonapothecary.com