This was a heckuva coincidence. Thursday evening, I was flipping through vodka cocktail recipes on my Kindle during timeouts of my kids’ basketball games. I saw a reference to walnut liqueur and thought, “Man, walnut liqueur. That sounds nasty.”
Less than 48 hours later, a TDE reader sent me this: “Watershed Distillery uses to craft its luscious Italian-style liqueur, Nocino, an intensely nutty flavored spirit. In the early summer, long before the nuts have formed a hard shell, Cullman will thin out some trees and deliver about 750 pounds of soft, green nuts, still in the hull, to the distiller where they are quartered and steeped for 90 days in vodka made with grains from nearby Granville Mills. Finally, the vodka is strained and filtered, sweetened with sugar and flavored with orange peel, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla bean.”
It’s made in Ohio, about five hours from my house. I have to admit, it sounds good. And it’s pretty potent: 48 proof, according to Watershed Distillery’s website.
I doubt I’ll buy any. The one thing this “cocktailing hobby” has made me aware of: the assortment of liquors is stunning. Walnut, banana, watermelon, whatever. I think every flavor, and even some non-flavors, has a liqueur. And that’s just among traditional drinks. In today’s market, new liqueurs of concocted flavors are coming out every month.
The one good thing about liquor, though: it doesn’t go bad. It will evaporate (and I’ve heard that vodka can go bad, though a friend of mine who used to distill it says that’s ridiculous), but it won’t go bad. So I don’t mind buying bottles that I may use only occasionally. It’s like an investment. I know guys who have hundreds of bottles of liquor in their homes. I used to think it odd, but heck, it’s one of the few things you can buy that won’t spoil. I don’t ever see myself having too many bottles around, but if I occasionally see a bottle for a drink I want to try, I won’t hesitate to buy it.