Using Nuts

Wal writes ..
    Looked up 'Spirits & Cocktails' by Dave Broom. In the section 'The use of Seeds and Nuts',some of the liqueurs from spice seed and nuts it mentions are:
    • 'Kummel' (Holland & Germany) uses caraway seeds.
    • 'Anisette' (France), 'Sambucca' (Italy) uses aniseed.
    • 'Malibu' uses coconut pulp
    • 'Amaretto' (Italy) uses bitter almond oil and crushed apricot pits.
    • 'Noisette' (France) uses green hazelnuts
    • 'Nocino' (Italy) uses green walnuts.
    • 'Madrono' (Spain) uses the essential oil from walnuts with alcohol.
    • Almonds are part of the botanicals for Bombay Sapphire Gin which uses redistilling.
    Therefore it appears you could use walnuts to make a liqueur either as an infusion with alcohol, or by redistilling crushed nuts in alcohol. The following recipes might suggest what quantity to use:

    'Almond Liqueur' (France)
    • 150g sweet almonds
    • 70g bitter almonds
    • 1 litre 40%vol alcohol
    • 500g sugar

    'Apricot Kernel Liqueur' (France)
    • 200g apricot kernels (they look like almonds)
    • 1 litre 40%vol alcohol
    • 250g sugar

    For ripe walnut liqueurs (by maceration) see: http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs/flavors.htm Scroll to walnuts.It's a good site for other flavors also.

    Nocino is a liqueur from fresh unripe walnuts that is made all over Italy. It is known in France (Liqueur de noix), Spain (Licor de nuez) and Eastern Europe. The tannins etc. have a medicinal value. The walnuts (about 20/litre alcohol) are picked in June - recipes mention St John's Day (24 June). Spices (e.g. 1 stick cinnamon, 3 cloves, 1 lemon peel /litre) are added. A sugar syrup (500 g of sugar, dissolved in 200 ml water) is also added. Green hazelnuts can also be used (Liqueur de noisette). I came across a recipe from Naples which is unusual in that it includes rose petals:

    Nocino (Napolitano)
    • 1 kg green walnuts
    • 1 litre alcohol
    • a handful of rose petals
    • 2-3 chopped rose hips
    • 2 tsp vanilla essence
    • 3 cloves
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • sugar syrup (3 cups sugar, 1 cup water)
    Quarter the nuts and place in a large jar with a lid. Add all the other ingredients except sugar syrup, close and macerate in a warm place for 1-2 months. Strain and add sugar syrup. Bottle. Store in a dark place.

    Licor de Nuez or Nogado (Spanish Walnut Liqueur):
    • 500 g green walnuts
    • 500 ml dry anise liqueur (ojen, ouzo, raki)
    • 500 ml water
    • 2 sticks of cinnamon
    • 4 cloves
    Steep for 40 days, strain and bottle

    In Italy the nuts are collected between the night of June 24 & 25 because it is believed that the night is magic, especially the dew - "St John dew". The Nocino iss served cold as a digestive after a meal In the past, after strainin the liqueur, the nuts remaining in the bowl were infused with a white wine to make a special vermouth.

    Here is an Italian 'Nocino' for comparison:
    • 29 green walnuts (traditionally an odd number)
    • 1.5 l alcohol
    • 750 g sugar
    • 10 g cinnamon
    • 10 g cloves
    • rind of 1 lemon
    • 400 ml water
    Quarter the walnuts and place in a 3 litre glass container, add alcohol, half sugar, spices. Steep for 2 months. Add sugar syrup made from remainder of sugar and water. Strain and bottle during Autumn Equinox. Store, and consume after one year.

    Liqueur de noisette (Hazelnut liqueur)
    • 50 green hazelnuts
    • 400 ml whisky (Irish or light Bourbon)
    • 300 ml water
    • 1 stick of vanilla
    • 1 tbsp light honey
    • 350 g (1 and 1/2 cups) sugar
    Chop the nuts and place in a large jar with a lid. Add whisky and water and macerate for 1-2 months. Strain and add honey, vanilla, sugar. Leave for another month. Remove vanilla and bottle.

    Frangelico is an Italian liqueur with a flavor of hazelnuts, herbs and berries.It appeared on the market in the 1980's in a monk shaped bottle. It claims the originator was the monk Fra.Angelico who lived 300 years ago. It's unusual in that it uses ripe roasted hazelnuts. Green nuts have a medicinal value and it makes more economic sense to use thinned out green hazelnuts, and leave the rest to ripen for food. This could be a modern innovation. Coffee and cocoa show a level of sophistication in the recipe which is unusual for a rural monastery. All I can discover about the ingredients is that toasted hazelnuts are macrated in alcohol and then redistilled. Other ingredients are added - including cocoa, coffee beans, vanilla, berries, rhubarb root and orange flowers. It is finally matured in oak casks. You could try to copy the liqueur using the above recipe as a basis. The berries could possibly be elderberries(?). Roasted carob beans could be a substitute for the cocoa.

    Frangelico
    • 4cups (500 g) unshelled hazelnuts (filberts). Shell chop and roast.
    • 3 cups alcohol (40%abv)
    • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 stick vanilla
    • berries, cocoa, coffee, rhubarb root, orange flowers.

    Macadamia Liqueur:
    • 200 g roasted (160-180C for 6 minutes - light caramel color)
    • 750 ml alcohol (40%bv)
    • 1 cup honey (or more to taste)
    Chop nuts to release flavor. Steep in alcohol for 1 month. Strain. Add honey.
For Frangelico, Tom suggests :
    A version of "FRANGELICO" From Italy - great Hazelnut tasting liqueur.
    • 4 and 1/2 C. shelled hazelnuts
    • 2 tsp. dried and chopped angelica root
    • 1/2 split vanilla bean
    • 1 fifth vodka
    • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
    • 1 and 1/2 C. sugar
    • 3/4 C. water
    • 1 tablespoon glycerin*
    * Glycerin is a thickening agent and does nothing for the taste of the liqueur or cordial. It does however make a more rich and aesthetically pleasing drink.
    Heat oven to 325° F. Place hazelnuts on cookie sheet and roast in oven. When toasted, chop coarsely. Add nuts and all ingredients except water, sugar and glycerin to aging container and age for a month. At this point, boil the water and sugar together to make a syrup. Strain the nut mixture and add the cooled syrup to it. Add the glycerin and age for another 2 or so months.

Amaretto

From Uncle Jessie ...
    Amaretto Liqueur :
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup brandy
    • 0.75 cup water
    • 3 drops yellow food coloring
    • 2 dried apricot halves
    • 6 drops red food coloring
    • 1 Tbsp. almond extract
    • 2 drops blue food coloring
    • 0.5 cup pure grain alcohol and 0.5 tsp. glycerine
    • 0.5 cup water

    Combine sugar and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.

    In an aging container, combine apricot halves, almond extract, grain alcohol with 0.5 cup water, and brandy. Stir in cooled sugar syrup mixture. Cap and let age for 2 days. Remove apricot halves. (Save apricot halves, can be used for cooking). Add food coloring and glycerine. Stir, recap and continue aging for 1 to 2 months.

    Re-bottle as desired. Liqueur is ready to serve but will continue to improve with additional aging.

    Variation: For a more prominant 'bitter almond' flavor, add 4 apricot nuts, split in half, to basic mixture. Leave in for 2 days to 2 weeks depending upon depth of flavor desired. Remove and discard apricot nuts. Continue as directed.

    Note: Apricot 'nuts' come from within the apricot pit. You may split pits yourself or obtain them dried at a health food store
Wal adds ...
    'Top Secret Recipes' version of 'Di Saronno Amaretto' by Todd Wilbur.
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 cups 40%abv vodks
    • 2 tbsp almond extract
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Combine water and sugars in a saucepan over medium heat.
    2. Heat until boiling, and all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
    3. Add vodka, almond and vanilla extracts. Store in a sealed bottle.

Coconut

Wal writes ...
    Came across a 'Licor de Coco' recipe in a Brazilian site which might interest those intrigued by 'Malibu' and clones:

    Coconut Liqueur
    • 1 litre white rum
    • 1 freshly grated coconut kernel
    • 800 g sugar
    • 250 mL water
    Steep grated coconut in the alcohol for 8 days. Strain, add sugar syrup.


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