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Jim Dixon

Nocino (Green Walnut Liqueur) & Vin de Noix

266 posts in this topic

I just went to pull this year's nocino out of the sun and the results are interesting. I had two big glass containers. One of them sealed extremely well, to the point that I don't think I lost anything to evaporation. The other did not seal well at all. At one point about a month ago, I realized that the liquid level on this second container had dropped to the point that it no longer covered the walnuts. I added vodka and water, but I don't know how long the walnuts were exposed.

The flavor difference between the two batches is fairly striking. The first batch tastes like nocino with a strong hit of alcohol to it. I wouldn't want to dilute it, but I think it could use a little air to get rid of a bit of the alcohol. Container number two tastes very different. There's no alcoholic heat, even after the addition of some extra vodka. And the flavor is almost pruney or raisiny - much more so than the nocino I've made in the past. I'm going to go ahead and sweeten these up (I've already strained them off the solids) and see what happens. I may blend the two batches together if that works or maybe not.

Anyone ever have their nocino come out with a raisiny character???

Mike

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ok i have a question: where are you guys getting bottles for these things? time is running short and i don't have any.

edited to add: i have more money than time right now, so purchasing rather than scouting antique shops or something is a better option. i was thinking something like this nice 250ml one, but maybe it's too boring.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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ok i have a question: where are you guys getting bottles for these things?  time is running short and i don't have any.

edited to add: i have more money than time right now, so purchasing rather than scouting antique shops or something is a better option.  i was thinking something like this nice 250ml one, but maybe it's too boring.

That looks like a good price!

I tried my vin de noix yesterday - it was like liquid fruitcake! There was still a slight alcoholly taste, which I hope will go away with some time in the bottle.

Since I'm not giving this as gifts I am just going to use old wine bottles. Once I've stuck a cork in it, what's the best way to seal it?

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I just usually use tasting corks or leftover corks from liquor bottles.

If you really want to cork and seal, probably the way to go would be hot wax.

You should be able to get the supplies for that at a home brew or wine supply store.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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If you intend to mail or travel with the bottles, I'd highly recommend also buying shrink capsules, which you can apply with steam from a kitchen kettle. If you havn't discovered already, Nocino stains like few other spirits!!

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I thought I'd bump up this topic as I've been wondering how everyone's nocino and/or vin de noix had come out.

I made vin de noir noix (I used black walnuts from a friend's tree) this summer and in January opened two bottles, at different times, to share with friends. So far, everyone who's tasted it seems to like it--tastes ok to me (I don't really what it's supposed to taste like). I used an adaptation of Foodman's recipe for vin de noix--I forgot to write down exactly what I used or omitted, but I believe I used less sugar and did not add one of the spices listed.

I followed Abra's suggestion on waiting a fairly long time before opening my bottles (after filtering the liquid & transferring it to wine bottles) and think the liqueur definitely benefited from the extra time.

Now I think I might ask the guy I used to buy all my wine from (he & his wife sold their wine shop/small restaurant business around two years ago & retired) if he and his wife would like to come over to do a tasting. He's a nice man (his wife is also a very pleasant person), still writes a wine column for the local paper, but I think since he has so much expertise I feel a little intimidated. But I'll probably ask him, all he can do is laugh or spit out the liqueur (or both).

How did your nocino or vin de noix turn out?

Slightly OT -- my friend & I later gathered some ripe black walnuts and eventually cracked open quite a few. The nutmeat is very delicious--substantially tastier than English walnuts I thought. But given how hard the shells are, and how many shells were empty, I now understand why you don't find black walnuts in the store (shelled or unshelled)--or I've never seen them (maybe at some farmers' markets?). Beautiful trees though.

azurite

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Just a friendly reminder that it is about time to sort out your green walnut plan for the year. Only a couple more weeks until St. John's Day.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Just a friendly reminder that it is about time to sort out your green walnut plan for the year.  Only a couple more weeks until St. John's Day.

What great timing - I just reread this entire thread over the weekend and meant to do a thread bump myself, as I'm planning to put up a batch this year. I have a friend in Pasadena with a walnut tree in his backyard and emailed him yesterday, but if his tree isn't delivering I'll order from Mount Lassen Farms. Just before St. John's Day I'm going to the wedding of an Italian friend of mine, and I'm planning to quiz his Nonna for her recipe.


Edited by jmfangio (log)

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

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Just a friendly reminder that it is about time to sort out your green walnut plan for the year.  Only a couple more weeks until St. John's Day.

Thanks for that reminder Eje! I missed last year and wanted to experiment this year with both Nocino and Vin de Noix. Put in an order with Lassen this morning for 5#. Think that's enough for a small batch of each?

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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Mt Lassen just shipping my order today for delivery early next week. A few questions for the experienced...

-how quickly should I use the walnuts after they arrive? Same day, within a week?

-What wine varietal would you use for the Vin de Noix? I was thinking a young, inexpensive burgundy or something similarly fruity.

Thanks,

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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Thanks for that reminder Eje!  I missed last year and wanted to experiment this year with both Nocino and Vin de Noix.  Put in an order with Lassen this morning for 5#.  Think that's enough for a small batch of each?

-Mike

I go a bit long on the walnuts in my batches and 2# per liter of vodka is plenty.

I've not made vin de noix, so someone else will have to pipe up there.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Mt Lassen just shipping my order today for delivery early next week.  A few questions for the experienced...

-how quickly should I use the walnuts after they arrive?  Same day, within a week?

-What wine varietal would you use for the Vin de Noix? I was thinking a young, inexpensive burgundy or something similarly fruity.

Thanks,

-Mike

A week is a bit long, but a day or three probably won't hurt too much. I usually try to use them the day they arrive or the next day.

Again, I've never tried making vin de noix, so can't be of much help there. I believe it has been covered in this topic a couple times, so maybe look back through for recipes.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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A question regarding the bottling for the finished Vin, does it matter if the bottles are regular glass bottles or does it have to be some type of dark glass bottle (like a wine bottle)? I wouldn't think it matters, but thought to ask to be sure.

Elie

Elie,

It's been posted on egullet before; but, I have found Gunther Anderson's Liqueur making web pages to have a wealth of information regarding proper techniques and storage.

http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs.htm

Quick question for those who have stored some away for a yr +. Went through the site link above and it seems written before the screw cap revolution. :P Anyone have any opinion on screw cap bottles for short term (6mths-2 yrs) storage?

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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A question regarding the bottling for the finished Vin, does it matter if the bottles are regular glass bottles or does it have to be some type of dark glass bottle (like a wine bottle)? I wouldn't think it matters, but thought to ask to be sure.

Elie

Elie,

It's been posted on egullet before; but, I have found Gunther Anderson's Liqueur making web pages to have a wealth of information regarding proper techniques and storage.

http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs.htm

Quick question for those who have stored some away for a yr +. Went through the site link above and it seems written before the screw cap revolution. :P Anyone have any opinion on screw cap bottles for short term (6mths-2 yrs) storage?

-Mike

Screw cap is perfectly fine for both Nocino or Vin de Noix. My Nocino is over 3 years old and I have vin de noix from the same time frame and also from last summer (I am not makign any this year). Most of these are in screw tops, none are corked. On the other hand, if you have an IKEA close by, they sell these cool swing top bottles for a dollar or two each and they are both cool looking and work perfectly well.

I use a cheap (brand: CITRA) red wine for vin de noix. I think it sells for about $10 for the 1.5 liter bottle. It tastes fine on it's own and works great for vin de noix.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Screw cap is perfectly fine for both Nocino or Vin de Noix. My Nocino is over 3 years old and I have vin de noix from the same time frame and also from last summer (I am not makign any this year). Most of these are in screw tops, none are corked. On the other hand, if you have an IKEA close by, they sell these cool swing top bottles for a dollar or two each and they are both cool looking and work perfectly well.

that's what my nocino and vin de noix from last year are in.

here's a link

i wish they came in smaller sizes though; 34 oz is big.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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My walnuts from Mt. Lassen arrived this morning, and I just put my batch up a few minutes ago. Fingers crossed for the next six weeks!

gallery_24380_4394_470.jpg


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

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i just put up my first batch of nocino, and discovered that all that talk about stained hands is for reals:

gallery_20641_2687_124046.jpg

i also started a batch of green walnut preserves, which involved peeling 75 walnuts, so i probably had more sustained exposure than the average batch of nocino requires.

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i just put up my first batch of nocino, and discovered that all that talk about stained hands is for reals:

[...]

i also started a batch of green walnut preserves, which involved peeling 75 walnuts, so i probably had more sustained exposure than the average batch of nocino requires.

Chuckle...

Nice! You'll have to let us know how long that takes to wear off.

It's not a bad idea to use latex or other food service gloves when working with the green walnuts.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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It's not a bad idea to use latex or other food service gloves when working with the green walnuts.

yeah, in retrospect gloves seem like a much smarter approach.

i've got to attend a wedding in 10 days, so hopefully the stains will be gone by then. they show no signs of fading the day after, despite repeated scrubbings. oops. i'm hoping the booze and preserves will be worth it.

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I just strained and bottled my batch today. I know that it's supposed to sit for a few more months, but I think it already tastes amazing. I had a British friend over for dinner last night and gave her a taste, who after she regained the capacity for speech said, "Oh my God! This tastes like English Christmas pudding!"

I don't think that I'd even heard of Nocino before I read about it in this thread. For this, and so many other things that I've learned on this board, I have to say thank you, and I'm grateful that I found this community of eager, eloquent, and erudite dipsomaniacs.


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

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i put up my first-ever batch of nocino in july (just nuts, grain alcohol, and a vanilla bean), and strained, diluted, and sweetened it in late october. unfortunately i've never had the genuine article, but this is so tannic and harsh and kind of medicinal that i can't imagine it's the way it should taste. i just sipped again, to see if time had mellowed it, but nope. will it improve? were the nuts under-ripe? let me know if there's something to be done to salvage this batch, or advice for avoiding the same fate with a future batch.

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I'm putting up the annual thread bump a little early, since last night I pre-ordered my green walnuts from Mount Lassen Farms.

This year I plan to do a few things differently:

1) Make a double batch (I ordered 6 pounds).

2) Use demerara sugar instead of plain old C&H

3) Add orange zest

Who else is planning to put up Nocino this year, and what do you have in mind?


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

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I've had it on my to-do list a long, long time because of this thread. Mt. Lassen told me I had to wait til June to order, but I'm off to do a pre-order also.


Edited by gfron1 (log)

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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I've had it on my to-do list a long, long time because of this thread.  Mt. Lassen told me I had to wait til June to order, but I'm off to do a pre-order also.

i'm dieing to make some... i hear star anise is a great subliminal contrast.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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I was looking at not making any this year as my last couple of "vintages" have not been good at all. They've been thin and uninteresting and I had decided I wasn't going to waste my time again. But then two things happened.

One - I had some nocino made by a friend who swore he let the stuff macerate for a year. It was really good. I think the problem with my last couple of batches was that I didn't let the walnuts sit in the alcohol long enough. That wasn't a problem with the batches I made the years prior, but I switched sources a couple of years ago and I think these other walnuts just needed more time (for whatever reason). At least, I hope that's the issue.

Two - Another friend still had bottles of the first two vintages I made (I think from 2003 and 2004). He brought them out a few months ago and I expected little from them as they bottles had been open for a long time. I went through all of my stash from those batches several years ago, though, so I figured what the hell and gave it a try. I was astonished at how good that stuff was. It was on a level with some of the best tawny ports I've had (and I've had some very good tawny ports over the years). It was utterly amazing. After that, I can't not give this stuff another try.

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