It’s been more than a month since I started a batch of nocino, a liqueur infusion made with green walnuts and bit of spice. I used foraged unripe black walnuts that I nicked from a park on Massachusetts Avenue. When I quartered the walnuts, they had a heady aroma that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It was minty and licoricey and peppery and grassy all at the same time. And when the walnut quarters first went into the vodka and sugar, the mixture was a beautiful pale green.
Well, a couple days later the mixture had turned a glassy blue-ish green. It was developing none of the carmelly brown color nocino is supposed to have. Every day, more inky green clouds would leech into the liquid.
Now, after another month, the concoction is the color of bilge-water. A cloudy and greenish-brown syrupy mess.
Yes, I tasted it. I tried it both at room temperature and over ice. The taste is… well, this strange brew does taste better than it looks, but that’s not saying much. It’s rather medicinal and unsettling, though intriguing enough to be worth a taste. I’ve never had real nocino, so I’m not sure whether this version tastes like it’s supposed to.
Overall, I have to call this experiment a failure. There’s still something I find incredibly tantalizing about the smell of green walnuts, but this bile-like substance is really not very appetizing.