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Jim Dixon

Nocino (Green Walnut Liqueur) & Vin de Noix

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I was thinking maybe use them to infuse some fortified wine to make a type of aperitif. Does that sound reasonable?

Will they still have enough flavor to use in fortified wine? I would think they've given it all up into the infusion, but that's just a guess.

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Cheapskate French aperatif makers rinse the whatever (oranges, nuts etc) after draining with a bit of red or white wine to rinse off the last bits of flavor and drink it as a "vermouth" of sorts. But it isn't infused, just rinsed to get the last flavorful liquid.

Honestly, ethanol is such a powerful solvent I don't think you're going to have much of anything texture or flavorwise that is worth much more trouble then that.

If you want an aperatif, next time, try making vin de noix instead. My grandpa is Sicilian, but I have to say I think the French are ahead when it comes to making something tasty to drink with green walnuts and booze. I like it much better then either of the two nocini I made.

regards,

trillium

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Cheapskate French aperatif makers rinse the whatever (oranges, nuts etc) after draining with a bit of red or white wine to rinse off the last bits of flavor and drink it as a "vermouth" of sorts.  But it isn't infused, just rinsed to get the last flavorful liquid.

Honestly, ethanol is such a powerful solvent I don't think you're going to have much of anything texture or flavorwise that is worth much more trouble then that.

If you want an aperatif, next time, try making vin de noix instead.  My grandpa is Sicilian, but I have to say I think the French are ahead when it comes to making something tasty to drink with green walnuts and booze.  I like it much better then either of the two nocini I made.

regards,

trillium

The Vin de Noix I am making will be ready to bottle by the end of this month :smile:. It's on the other thread.

Ok, well I guess the walnuts are going in the trash.

Elie

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...

The Nocino's flavor profile is very different. In addition to the much higher alcohol (this needs some dilution), the walnut flavor is much more present, probably due to the higher alcohol that coaxed more soluble walnut oils out. ...

Elie

We returned from vacation and I strained mine yesterday. Having used vodka and first kept it in a covered bowl and transferred it to a sealed jar, the concoction was black as tar. It tasted strong. The flavor is very nutty and interestingly spicy but a bit too much, in my opinion. I want to lighten the flavors - Elie, what do you dilute yours with? :rolleyes:

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I had a sip of mine when I moved it to glass jars, and it had a background of bitterness that I really didn't like. I removed the walnuts and stuck it in the basement. Pretty soon I'll have to go back to it and see what's happening. It really wasn't good as it was then, so I'm hoping it'll mellow out.

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The Nocino's flavor profile is very different. In addition to the much higher alcohol (this needs some dilution), the walnut flavor is much more present, probably due to the higher alcohol that coaxed more soluble walnut oils out. ...

Elie

We returned from vacation and I strained mine yesterday. Having used vodka and first kept it in a covered bowl and transferred it to a sealed jar, the concoction was black as tar. It tasted strong. The flavor is very nutty and interestingly spicy but a bit too much, in my opinion. I want to lighten the flavors - Elie, what do you dilute yours with? :rolleyes:

Added some simple syrup first, then some water until it reached a taste I liked. It is excellent, like nothing I've had before, with a very faint bitter taste and nice floral/herbish flavors. I tried some in coffee and liked it as well.

here is a pic of the bottled Nocino. The Vin de noix will be bottled soon as well.

gallery_5404_94_47005.jpg

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Elie, you added water and simple syrup to the vin de noix, or to the nocino? I've never seen a vin de noix recipe that suggested dilution, but I think I'm going to need to do something to it.

Onthe other hand, I finished making some raspberry and blueberry liqueurs yesterday (started them last summer) and they are luscious, so I feel a little better about my adventure into spirits.


Edited by Abra (log)

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Elie, you added water and simple syrup to the vin de noix, or to the nocino?  I've never seen a vin de noix recipe that suggested dilution, but I think I'm going to need to do something to it.

Onthe other hand, I finished making some raspberry and blueberry liqueurs yesterday (started them last summer) and they are luscious, so I feel a little better about my adventure into spirits.

This was the Nocino. Sorry for the confusion.

Elie

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I recall from a recent discussion of Genepi Maison that they adjust for flavor with sugar before bottling it, because the brew always has a different strength, it really depends on the strength of the plants going in and that varies year by year. A little bit of bitterness is good for the strong stuff, but mine is hovering on the border of tasting like a kind of medicinal elixer. I want it to be a refreshing drink. I also note that I felt rather sluggish soon after taking a slug. I think something in it may have emphasized the barbituate properites of the alcohol. I will dilute and sweeten as Elie suggests, but if it doesn't taste like something I can serve, I can always save it and take a little when I'm having trouble getting to sleep...

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I bottled my Vin De Noix a few days ago. I used (mostly) green tinted mineral water bottles (cheap and a perfect size). The flavor was very nice, a touch bitter and fruity with little spice and herb. I was very pleased with the result, but then again I've never had the real stuff in France. Here is a pic of my tasting pour. Now, the bottles will age a few months.

gallery_5404_94_79215.jpg

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I bottled my vin de noix about 3 weeks ago in a clean wine bottle. THe filtered wine

was bitter. Now, it has changed in the bottle to a quiet, balanced flavor---fruity with a hint of bitter..just as Elie mentioned above.

I used a few tablespoons to soften some yellow raisins then added them to a ragout of duck legs. What a big, exciting flavor it created!!!

;

I bottled my Vin De Noix a few days ago. I used (mostly) green tinted mineral water bottles (cheap and a perfect size). The flavor was very nice, a touch bitter and fruity with little spice and herb. I was very pleased with the result, but  then again I've never had the real stuff in France. Here is a pic of my tasting pour. Now, the bottles will age a few months.

gallery_5404_94_79215.jpg

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Paula, you have cheered me up! I just hated to think of all that vin de noix going down the drain. I'm going to taste it tonight and see if it's mellowing.

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I think bitterness varies with the amount of walnuts used.

I started with 15 ounces (10) green walnuts.

I cracked and soaked them in 4 cups fruity red wine along with 3/4 cup sugar, a few tablespoons triple sec, and 1/4 cup brandy.

I am sorry I didn't make more. I have so many recipes I need to test using it. Now, I fear I won't get much chance to drink it!

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Oh yum! Not wanting to wait until Thanksgiving, I served the first of my vin de noix last night. Delicious! It had a nice, dark, sort of gingerbread and chocolate thing going that was quite entrancing. The tannins were still there in the background, but very well balanced. So this is after just less than 4 months of aging. It should be sensational by Christmas, if it continues in this direction.

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I tasted mine too the other night. The flavor has rounded out and it tastes pretty good. I'll try cooking with this as well.

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Wow, cooking with vin de noix - now there's a use I hadn't contemplated. Lucy, what might you make with it?

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Sauce. Sauce for pan seared magret de canard. Touch of vin de noix, touch of creme de cassis. Add a cup of white wine and use this mix to deglaze the pan. Reduce to a glaze. Add a cup and a half of some veal or chicken stock and reduce in half again. Whisk in a few Ts of butter at the end and voila there you have a luscious sauce.

Also, do what Paula did:

I used a few tablespoons to soften some yellow raisins then added them to a ragout of duck legs. What a big, exciting flavor it created!!!

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Today the weather turned bad and I got caught in the rain. After sludging through my errands, I came home, and heated up a nice little mug o' vin de noix! With a slice of orange floating in it, served warmish-hot it really hots the spot. :smile:

Try it!

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Lucy, you have the best ideas. Warm vin de noix, I've got to try that. And it's starting to get cold at night here, so it won't be long before I feel the need.

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Noticed on this month's K & L Wines Newsletter that a Napa company is choosing a Nocino for their initial release.

Nocino della Cristina, by Monteverdi Spirits.

Anyone tried yet?

They've got quite a list of restaurants, bars, and liquor stores lined up. However, I can't quite imagine Absinthe or Citizen Cake serving the Nutslide or Nutty Nikita.

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This week's Cocktailian column has a couple cocktail suggestions for Nocino della Cristina.

Errors precede a nutty success

My favorite part:

I offered samples of each experimental drink to my wife, and she concurred. "Just awful, Gary," she told me. Thank you, dear...I'd missed the news at this point, and "Jeopardy" was about to begin, but I soldiered on. Perhaps I could use Nocino della Cristina in a traditional sour...The gin version was particularly vile..."Could you limit my samples to drinks that you think might be viable?" my wife asked. Yes, dear.

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Since it is on my calendar, I will remind folks it's getting to be about that time to sort out where your green walnuts are coming from for this year's Nocino.

I had good luck last year ordering from the folks at Mount Lassen and will probably again this year.

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The leaves haven't even come out on my walnut trees yet... nor any other trees here. I'll keep an eye on the walnut trees for the greens. I'm sure I'll have a ton of green black walnuts like every year.

I'll gladly send some around if the recipients will cover the shipping and packing costs...

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Happy 2006, time to get going again on the vin de noix. I had the distinct pleasure this past weekend of taking Jim Dixon a bottle of the vin de noix I made with his walnuts, and hearing "oh my god" be the first words that crossed his lips. Ok! So as soon as his walnuts are ready again, in another week or two, I'll start all over.

I never did get any vanilla bean, or long pepper, or grains of paradise into last year's batch. So now I'm wondering whether I should stick with my excellent recipe from last year, or branch out, as it were. Who else is making some this year?

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