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).
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.