Nocino: Part Two
It’s time to finish making nocino! Sixty-odd days ago I put up some green walnuts, spices, citrus peel, and sugar to steep in alcohol. I ended up with a large, glass jar full of a fragrant, dark brown liquid I’m betting would make a lovely wood stain. However, I continue to be patient and hopeful, so here’s the procedure for Nocino: Part Two. (My post on the first part of the process is here: Nocino: Part One.)
- Combine 1 L water and 2 cups granulated sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. I used raw cane sugar, and the tiny bit of molasses residue in the sugar turned the simple syrup a lovely golden brown color. While I doubt that raw cane sugar (versus refined white sugar) would have suited the limoncello, I think it will add a pleasantly subtle, caramel note to the nocino.
- Strain the green walnuts, spice, and citrus peel out of the infusion. I used a slotted spoon. Don’t forget to wear gloves and avoid splattering your kitchen with the infusion — it will stain!
- Combine the cooled simple syrup and infusion, and strain through cheesecloth into clean, glass bottles.
- Let the nocino age in the bottles for at least another 4 months before drinking (6 months total from start of infusion).
My batch of nocino should be ready to drink right as my second Iowa winter sets in. If last winter’s record-breaking snowfall (and the flood-inducing deluge of this summer) are any indication of the weather that lies ahead, then this nocino may ease me through a lengthy hibernation!