|Sweet cicely roots|
|Ripe spicebush berries|
Wild Spiced Black Walnut Nocino makes about a half gallon
2 pounds immature black walnuts
3 sweet cicely roots
3-3" lengths spicebush twigs, peeled
3 Tbsp spicebush berries, crushed
1 vanilla bean, split
4+ c. grain alcohol or 100 proof vodka (enough to cover the cut nuts)
3 c. water
3 c. sugar
1 c. maple syrup
1. Gather the immature black walnuts near the third week in June, when you are able to cut through the hull and shell with a knife. Quarter the nuts and pack them into a gallon glass jar.
2. Shred the sweet cicely roots and add then to the jar, along with the peeled spicebush twigs, crushed spicebush berries and split vanilla bean.
3. Pour the alcohol over the nuts, covering them totally. Let the concoction macerate for 3-4 months, shaking weekly.
4. Strain out the solids, the alcohol will have turned black.
5. Make the sugar syrup by placing the sugar and water in a large pot. Bring up to a boil and turn the heat off. Allow the sugar syrup to cool, and mix it into the flavored alcohol with the maple syrup.
6. At this point, you may drink the wild nocino, but it will be pretty rough. We suggest an additional mellowing period of 9 months in a clean gallon jar, then portioning the nocino out into smaller bottles for storage.