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Jim Dixon

Nocino (Green Walnut Liqueur) & Vin de Noix

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Carolyn, I don't know about Thanksgiving, but last year I did leave the nuts and spices in the vin, supposedly for a couple more months.  In the event I forgot all about the fact that I'd never strained it, and when I went to serve some about 8 months later, it had nasty bitter overtones and I had to dump that bottle.  It really can get too tannic, but because I was sloppy, I don't know how long that takes.

Thanks, Abra! Thank helps. I'll give mine another few weeks at least since I started late. But I am impressed at how it is tasting already!

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Carolyn,

Just be careful if you have whole spices in there. Things like Cassia and Clove can go from "just right" to "overwhelming" in relatively short periods of time.

I had a cranberry liqueur that was perfect last year at Thanksgiving; but, I neglected to remove a cassia stick. By the time I was thinking of giving it as a gift for Christmas, I discovered it had become Cinnamon Schnapps.

Squeezed, strained, and sweetened mine today at around 70 days. According to my notes this is about a half a month longer on the walnuts than last year. Be interesting to compare the end products.


Edited by eje (log)

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My annual bump to this topic, to remind you it's about time to sort out your Green Walnut purveyor for the year.

Only a couple weeks until St. John's Day.

I'll again be ordering from Mount Lassen.

This year I'm hoping to do a bit of experiment and use some grappa for part of the alcohol component. I think it will complement my more bitter style of walnut liqueur nicely.

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I know upthread there's reference to making this with pecans, which are much easier to come by around here, so I figured I'd try it for a Texas take on the liqueur. I was just wondering if there's anything that should be done different when using pecans vs walnuts.

-Andy

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im not familiar with this liqour, but walnuts can be very bitter... how does this compare... also has anyone thought of distilling the spirit, then adding just a few walnuts for color? ive found that with anything high in essential oils the complexities of the flavors are lifted to new heights through distillation.... then adjusatments can be made to the spirit for flavor and color.... so one could use high proof alcohol and then through distillation remove the "vapor burn" for lack of a better term of the high proof stuff, because you really need 80-95% alcohol for proper extraction? or thats just what ive read....

ive got plans for wild mulberry liqour this year... macerate berries in 95% grain alcohol, steep for 5 days.... cut w/water(strictly so that theres something left in the still), check the spirit for flavor... might add more berries for flavor if it needs it, or just some hibiscus flower for color if the flavor is right..... any suggestion? dont want to add spice for clean fruit flavor.....

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im not familiar with this liqour, but walnuts can be very bitter... 

Nocino is made with green walnuts, presumably to avoid or at least mitigate any bitterness. And of course the sweetening will help.

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My annual bump to this topic, to remind you it's about time to sort out your Green Walnut purveyor for the year.

Only a couple weeks until St. John's Day.

I'll again be ordering from Mount Lassen.

This year I'm hoping to do a bit of experiment and use some grappa for part of the alcohol component.  I think it will complement my more bitter style of walnut liqueur nicely.

Thanks for the heads up, eje! I was just getting ready to get in touch with Mt. Lassen to see when this year's crop would be coming in.

Last year's batch of nocino came out quite well, although not as rich as in years past. I will probably dump more walnuts in to see if I can get things a bit more concentrated this year.

Mike

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im not familiar with this liqour, but walnuts can be very bitter...  how does this compare...  also has anyone thought of distilling the spirit, then adding just a few walnuts for color?  ive found that with anything high in essential oils the complexities of the flavors are lifted to new heights through distillation....  then adjusatments can be made to the spirit for flavor and color....  so one could use high proof alcohol and then through distillation remove the "vapor burn" for lack of a better term of the high proof stuff, because you really need 80-95% alcohol for proper extraction?  or thats just what ive read.... 

[...]

Well, to me the little bit of bitter from green walnuts is part of Nocino's charm, like the flavor of a good Sweet Vermouth. It's a bit of a balancing act.

But, there are lots of different styles of nut liqueurs in Italy and France, I don't know if any are made utilizing distillation.

My instinct is that a lot of the interesting flavors in Nocino come from fairly large proteins and oils that might get left behind if you distilled.

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I've just ordered 15 # of nuts! I have no idea how many I had last year so I'm psyched...mt Lassen Farms!

This year I think I'll use more aromatics, but just a touch.

I used clove, vanilla and cinammon last year. This year a scoatch of lemon zest might go in. Maybe.

Definately more vanilla though (the cheap stuff from ebay!)

I used everclear last year and some vodka. I think I'll stick with that.

the sweetening part and the dilution I'm still not sure of...

It was really good last year, but , of course I didn't take notes :rolleyes:

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IMG_8600.JPG

Next Sunday is la Fete de St. Jean in France, which is the day we get the nuts! I went by to see the lady who sold me nuts last year and gave her a bottle of last year's wine. She was really happy to receive it and will not forget me when I stop by her stand next week. I hope she likes the wine.

Last year I did more of a mix of wine & spirits in mine for budgetary reasons mainly and it turned out really really well. In fact I liked the one that included a white burgundy along with the alcohol very much.

Who else is going to do vin de noix this year? :rolleyes:


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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I'm doing a nocino already... The wind blew a bunch of baby black walnuts off the tree a couple of weeks ago, so I picked 'em up, chopped 'em in half and covered 'em with everclear.

Getting nicely dark and tasty already.

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IMG_8831.JPG

Our batch for 2007 is in the safe. This year, having no maple syrup, I made caramel syrup and added roasted cocoa beans, giving it a caramel and chocolate theme. I know I am probably getting a little too creative here but somebody's got to experiment! :raz:

We made more than we could give away last year, so there are still a couple of bottles of last year's batch leftover. I find it tastes even better one year down the line. A splash on a couple of ice cubes on an early summer evening does the trick. In the past few days I have also been preparing a lot of duck with it, marinating legs with the vin and Espelette peppers and slow cooking for shredding and use in layered individual terrines with whipped root and early summer vegetables.

I love your report, mrbigjas! :cool:


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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my only thing is, that tall jar that the nocino is in doesn't seal entirely. it's a cheapo from ikea, and when i turned it over to shake it, some definitely leaks out around the edge. now, i read on one of the dozen or so sites i found recipes on that the process needs a little oxygen to work--in fact it recommended you put it in a canning jar with no gasket to make sure. and i have another 1/2 bottle of vodka to top it up with if needed, so i'm not too concerned. i'm more annoyed with how careful i have to be every time i move it...

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I'm kicking myself that I didn't get young nuts in time this year -- probably too late but I might check around, just to make sure.

I have two bottles left of last year's wine and as Lucy indicated, if you have the patience to age some, a year or two later it makes

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Got my walnuts a day or two ago from Mt. Lassen. They'll be going into the alcohol tomorrow. Haven't thought about the recipe yet, except for upping the number of walnuts going in. Might try some of the maple syrup.

I did a small batch last year in brandy instead of vodka, but didn't find it to make much of a difference. I won't be repeating that one this year.

I bought 20 lbs of walnuts, so I may try for a small batch of vin de noix in addition to the nocino.

Mike

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This year I can't find Everclear in New York. I'm using Devil's Spring...it's 160 proof "vodka". From what I can tell it's just fancied up grain alc. Why can they sell this in nyc but not everclear?

Anyway, my nuts are in, plus vanilla beans. I'll add the other stuff later don't want the spices too powerful.

An extraction question for the experts: Will more liquid help extract more flavor? or is "just to cover" just fine? I have the nuts "just covered" but if they need to swim or if they have enough "power" to infuse more liquid...do tell...

thanks,

e

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This year I can't find Everclear in New York.  I'm using Devil's Spring...it's 160 proof "vodka". From what I can tell it's just fancied up grain alc. Why can they sell this in nyc but not everclear?

Anyway, my nuts are in, plus vanilla beans. I'll add the other stuff later don't want the spices too powerful.

An extraction question for the experts: Will more liquid help extract more flavor? or is "just to cover" just fine? I have the nuts "just covered" but if they need to swim or if they have enough "power" to infuse more liquid...do tell...

thanks,

e

Emma -

I think you generally end up with more extraction when you use less liquid. It's possible that you'll leave something behind in the solids, but if you do you'll still have saturated the liquid portion. You can always dilute down if that's too strong (and you can't do the opposite if it ends up too weak). I've done mine just to cover.

Mike

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I've never done much more than just cover the nuts; but, I know others who will make twice or three times as much walnut liqueur as me from the same amount of nuts.

Just depends what you're going for.

But, like Mike sez, you can always dilute, but, you can't take it out.

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I think I'm a test case for forgetfulness in spirit play. I've made vin de noix for several years now, but last summer I had so many walnuts that I also started some nocino. Started, neglected, rediscovered, one year of soaking the nuts in vodka left an inky brew that I was sure I'd have to toss.

Just on a whim I tasted a tiny bit. Hmmm, not at all terrible, just as it was. Then, because we're about to go for a stay in France and I'm trying to use things up, I took a bottle of dark maple syrup and started adding it to the filtered vodka until it tasted as luscious as a Maple Walnut Pancake in a Glass. Now if only I could sneak a litte butter flavor in there!

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I think I'm a test case for forgetfulness in spirit play.  I've made vin de noix for several years now, but last summer I had so many walnuts that I also started some nocino.  Started, neglected, rediscovered, one year of soaking the nuts in vodka left an inky brew that I was sure I'd have to toss.

Just on a whim I tasted a tiny bit.  Hmmm, not at all terrible, just as it was.  Then, because we're about to go for a stay in France and I'm trying to use things up, I took a bottle of dark maple syrup and started adding it to the filtered vodka until it tasted as luscious as a Maple Walnut Pancake in a Glass.  Now if only I could sneak a litte butter flavor in there!

that sounds delicious. i think i'd put on ice cream....

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Is it too late in the season?

My parents have a beautiful tree in the yard (that I climbed on as a youth). My family's visiting, and they could secure some nuts still (before the "endangered/protect species, the squirrel, takes them all - rat with a bushy tail, say I).

The thread looks so good that I'd think this is well worth investing a year or three in.


Edited by Peter Green (log)

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Is it too late in the season?

My parents have a beautiful tree in the yard (that I climbed on as a youth).  My family's visiting, and they could secure some nuts still (before the "endangered/protect species, the squirrel, takes them all - rat with a bushy tail, say I).

The thread looks so good that I'd think this is well worth investing a year or three in.

Yeah, it would be too late now Peter. I made Vin De Noix this year towards the end of June and the nuts I got from Rumiano farms were a bit on the hard side already. I did not make any last year, but the Cru 2005 :smile: is still getting better everyday. I think I have two more bottles of that.

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You have to get the walnuts while they're green, soft in the middle, and easily cut in half, which is usually mid to late June.

I have to agree that aging vin de noix is a good thing, as my 2006 tatses better than ever now. I'm going to put some away for another year - by then it should be stellar.

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Oh, well. I'll ask them to give them a test before going to much work, but I suspect you're right and it may be too late.

When I phoned Vancouver the other night I could hear my Mom in the background "He wants what? He can come here and fight the squirrels for them."

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