Have you ever tried the NOCINO the Italian green-walnuts liqueur? It’s delicious and it is very easy to prepare this! Simply follow my instructions and you will prepare this next year as well! It makes a wonderful gift for your friends!
Nocino is a sticky dark brown liqueur very popular in Northern Italy as well as in the Ticino the Southern Italian speaking part of Switzerland were it mostly called “ratafià”. It is much appreciated for it’s an aromatic but bittersweet flavor.
It’s origins are unknown but it is during the Middle Ages, Italian monasteries used nocino for its medicinal properties and also as an alcoholic treat; some sources says it has even Celtic origins.
In any case I can say that it particular delicious and after a heavy meal this helps the digestion!
“Noci” means nuts; as this is made from unripe green walnuts. According the tradition the nuts should be picked in the night of St Johannes, but I would suggest to pick the nuts before they are “wooden” and size is around 3 cm. Don’t forget to use plastic gloves while picking the nuts as the juice would brown your skin and cloths!
Almost every family has its recipe, I will live the first recipe I got. I still follow this recipe, but the alternative I follow is to use “tsikoudia” (τσικουδιά,the Cretan grappa/raki) instead of alcohol and water. The result different but it is delicious as well and I can’t say which version s better!
Other spices that can be used for this recipe: vanilla, nutmeg, maces and, cardamom.
In the photo: before and after result.
Nocino/Ratafià – Italian Walnut Liqueur
- 20 green walnuts, halved or quartered (more if too small)
- 1 liter 90% alcohol for preparation of liqueurs
- 1 lemon zest, cut into strips
- 5 cloves
- 1 big piece of cinnamon
- 400 g sugar
- 300 ml water, boiled and cooled down
- Prepare the walnuts .
- Place all the ingredients in a big pot/bottle and close tightly.
- Let sit for 40 days in a warm place, best if at the sun.
- Sieve and fill in bottles.
I place again all the ingredients (expect of the filled nocino) in the original bottle, I cover it with a sweet rose wine (you may add some sugar if you like) and I let it sit for a few month. I’m sure you will enjoy this very much as well! It is less strong but delicious as well!