Friday, July 27, 2007

a fresh batch of anticipation

Last year we made, for the first time, a few litres of nocino, a traditional walnut liquer popular in Italy. And we just began this year's batch, which now sits macerating in the sun in four large jars in our living room. Deirdre began making rosolio several years ago using our currants, or our rose petals, and we have long had a fascination for the great variety of amari one can find throughout Italy, and so last year we finally managed to find the green English Walnuts required for nocino (from a farm in Michigan), and the results of that first effort were so encouraging and surprisingly delicious, we doubled this year's batch.

Having learned a little bit more in the intervening year, we made a few minor changes to the formula, a few additions, taken another one or two small leaps of faith. The returning stars from last year were all on hand: citrus peel, clove, cinnamon, mace, vanilla bean. But to each jar I also added a small quantity of our espresso beans, cacao nibs, some slices of ginger, and anise seed.

Then the green walnuts were cut up into quarters, and divided among the four jars, and the grain alcohol went in, and the jars were closed, and now are resting comfortably in the sun for 40 days. Then we will strain all the ingredients out of the alcohol, and add the four litres of simple syrup, and put everything up in our slowly growing collection of imported amaro bottles, and wait. Until christmas.

(Well, maybe there will be a preliminary taste test around Halloween. Just to be sure everything is proceeding according to plan...)

1 comment:

J Randall said...

Cant wait to try this. December will be a welcoming time for a soul warming spirit. Bill and I are already becoming sad that our "summer" in Woodstock is now half over but look forward to being back during the holidays and soaking up all the hospitality and outstanding food in the restaurant.
You two are fantastic restauranteurs and we love dining with you as much as possible.