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!