Vodka of American Black Walnut

October 2, 2015.

Black walnuts (Juglans nigra) are falling.

I keep the walnuts in a basket overnight before using them so that their fragrance fills the room.  Not the easiest fragrance to describe:  it is more savory than sweet but both are present.  Just when you think the fragrance is pungent, it recedes.   The fragrance is marvelous.

Black walnut vodka turns from a golden geen to hunter green to a green so dark that it might as well be a brown.  It is a bitter if no honey is added; or if very little is added.  With more honey, it is smooth almost like an Irish cream.   How much honey is a matter for experimentation and of taste.

Black walnuts stain the hands and the vodka the lips (of those over-imbibing at one sitting).

 

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Vodka of American Black Walnuts

Do not shell.

Score the walnut with a sharp knife in a line around its circumference.  Twist and pull the two halves apart.  I usually leave the nut itself whole because it is hard to cut them in half without special equipment.  And I become unsafe with hammer in hand.

Use walnuts which have white/cream pith. Cut away and discard any that is black.

Fill a glass container to the half-mark with the walnuts.

Add vodka (the cheapest) up to the four-fifths mark

Add a vanilla pod (optional) sliced open.  Sometimes I remove the vanilla pod after a few days so that it not overwhelm the fragrance of the back walnuts.

Fill up the container with liquid honey or a little less as desired.  Reverse the container several times to disperse the honey.

Leave for 10 weeks at least.

Decant using a strainer.

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