Infusing Black Walnut into Vodka - What Are the Best Recipes
These Are Green Walnuts From My Tree
The Needle Test is the Answer
When your black walnuts appear on the tree in the first part of June, they are growing quite rapidly and the husks are a light green color. If you break them open, you will find a yellow fluid that stains your hands brown and a thin, white nut casing and some liquid. The nuts are not solid at first. My assumption is that the squirrels gnaw through the outside and drink the nut.
What is the needle test? Apparently, if you can poke a needle through the black walnut, it is the right texture inside for making nocino. There is a time that people who make this drink pick their black walnuts. I believe it is June 24. There is a 'Day' in honor of this date.
L. A. Weekly Reports on Scott Peacock
Note: Nocino can be enjoyed immediately after decanting, though we recommend allowing it to sit for a few months to mellow, just in time for holiday celebrations at the end of the year.
Makes: a little over one liter of liqueur
30 green walnuts, quartered
1 liter of 80 proof neutral spirits (vodka, tequila, grain spirits)
2 1/2 cups sugar
Zest from half a lemon (zest from an orange also works well)
2 cinnamon sticks
1. Wash and quarter the walnuts and place in a 1-gallon, wide mouth glass jar.
2. Add sugar and alcohol and stir until sugar is dissolved.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and affix the jar's cap.
4. Allow the liqueur to steep between 40 and 60 days, occasionally shaking the contents to encourage extraction. Decant into clean and sanitized glass bottles using either cheesecloth or a coffee filter in the funnel to filter out sediment. Cork and label.
Postcards from Umbria: Nocino
20 chopped green walnuts, picked from the tree at dawn on the Feast day of St. John the Baptist (24 June) before the dew dries
30 petals of a scarlet rose, dried in the shade
6 whole cloves, crushed
¾ of a cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
the zest of one lemon cut into strips, not grated
Add these all to 1 liter of alcohol in a large glass jug, seal it, and place it in the sun for 40 days, making sure to shake it every day.
After 40 days, prepare a sugar syrup with 500 g of sugar and 500 g of water. Add this syrup to the infusion and strain through filter paper. keep it bottled for 6 months to a year before drinking it, but that’s the young whippersnapper technique. Our older relatives start drinking it the day after it’s filtered.
This Is Umbria
The Guardian of the Nuts
Walnut Stain is Made From Black Walnuts Too
I find it incredible to imagine that people would drink this stuff because you would think it would turn your teeth brown. Walnut stain does a good job turning pine boards to a dark brown color. People like to take the black walnut nutmeats and add them to cookies and banana bread.