I was going to make a thread about Nocino specifically, but I thought we could use this space to discuss any kind of liqueurs we're making with foraged or homegrown goods.
I'm sure we have all made limoncello. The method for making most liqueurs is the same: extract flavors from a substance with a neutral spirit* (vodka or grain alcohol - I like to use 100 proof), strain, add a syrup, let it mature, and enjoy.
* Though not always - some liqueurs use brandy, rum, or whatever you like as the carrier.
Did you know you can add herbs to limoncello? A couple years ago, I made a version with catnip and lemonbalm added:
It added a lovely complexity, and mellowed it out a bit too.
How about a thai blend of kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and Thai basil? I just used the herbs. But I imagine using lime zest as the base would be fabulous too.
Which brings me to nocino...
I was up in Pine last weekend, and noticed the walnuts were a good size and still nice and green. So I gathered as many as I could reach, and recruited my friends to do the same.
We probably got about 30.
I waited a few days, then chopped them up. You're supposed to quarter them, but my poor knife got plenty of abuse just halving them. They do have a shell inside, after all. I assume they are Arizona walnuts (juglans major):
Into the jar they go, with a bottle of grain alcohol, and the remainder of some sauvignon blanc I had:
Doesn't look like I had quite enough alcohol.
Over night, it developed an ominous, inky hue:
I added a few cloves, some lemon verbena, a vanilla bean, and topped it off with 100 proof vodka and sweet vermouth.
After it has steeped for a couple months, I'll strain it, and add a simple syrup, and then wait some more.
I was Googling around, and some people have managed to make something similar with green pecans, which I thought might be useful, since they are more prevalent here in the Valley.