Homemade Nocino: Green walnuts & boozy infusions

Nocchino

Usually when I think about infusing booze with something, it’s fruit. Take last year’s rumtopf experiment for example. But this year my husband convinced me to try something different – a green walnut infusion, known by Italians as nocino.

I’ve had nocino before (from a batch my husband made) and wasn’t too impressed. The flavor was interesting, full of spices and citrus notes, but it was served straight up it and burned like firewater. I like things boozy but I can’t handle things that are that strong. I found out later it was made from Everclear — no wonder!

This time around my husband wanted to make it with vodka instead which was much more appealing to me. He also said he wanted to play around with the finished liqueur, so instead of serving it up we could mix it into ice cream bases or cocktails. Mentioning boozy ice cream is pretty much the way to my heart so it was an easy sell.

A hundred and one green walnuts later, we got to work:

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Additions to the Rumtopf: A boozy work in progress

About a month ago, my friend DB and I followed in our non-existent German ancestors’ footsteps and began making rumtopf. We each have our own crock, full (so far) of rum, strawberries, blueberries and nectarines.

I added some more goodies — fresh local blackberries and Bing cherries — to my crock this weekend. While I was in there, I tasted some of the liquid, rum with sugar and fruit juices. It is so amazingly good, I can’t even believe it.

In fact I’m tempted to start another batch now, because as soon as December hits I am going to plow through this one.

Blackberries and cherries macerated in sugar

Rumtopf crock brimming with goodness!

Want to start your own crock of boozy fruit? Check out the first post to see how!