Otherwise, ask your greengrocer to procure about 30 nuts with their rinds. Don't be surprised if the rinds are bright green; they should be, because the nuts are immature. Once you have the nuts, wash them well and assemble the remaining ingredients listed below.
- 1 1/2 quarts (1 1/2 liters) grain alcohol (190 proof or 95%; see note)
- 1 2/3 pounds (a little more than 3 cups, or 750 g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 10 cloves
- l pint (1/2 liter) water
- The rind of an organically grown lemon, cut into strips
Once the nuts have steeped taste the nocino. If it's too strong for you dilute it with some spring water. Then line a funnel with filter paper and strain the nocino into bottles. Cork them, and age it for about six months in a cool dark place. It is wonderful sipped in small amounts from a tiny glass at the end of a meal, or around a fire with friends. It also makes a perfect Christmas gift.
This recipe relies on Pellegrino Artusi for the proportions of the ingredients, and it comes out strong:
About 70% alcohol, or 140 proof. It is something to be sipped in small amounts, from a tiny glass after dinner, and this is how I enjoy it.
Do not treat it as if it were a normal distillate, because it's not, and do not use it to make mixed drinks, because they will come out too strong.
Dick Garofalo, of Garofalo Artisan Liqueurs, kindly gives proportions for making a lower-strength Nocino:
- "If you want a Nocino in the 60 proof (30% alcohol) range your formula will be 2 1/2 cups 190 Proof (95%) alcohol to 5 1/2 cups of water."
- "For 70 proof (35% alcohol) the ratio is 3 cups 190 proof (95%) alcohol to 5 cups of water."