Make Your Own Nocino

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:57 am on Monday, August 3, 2015

Nocino is an Italian liqueur made from green walnuts. It’s sweet, nutty, and spicy. You can mix it with a cocktail, drink it straight, or pour it over vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert.

Like most liqueurs, nocino can be pretty pricey. A small bottle (375 ml) starts at about $30. So last summer, I decided to make my own.

To make the nocino, we first needed green walnuts. No problem, there are California walnut trees all over the place. (I assume you could use any green walnut to make this liqueur.)

Last June, I located a walnut tree on public land that was loaded with green walnuts and foraged away. Here’s what I picked, which is approximately 800 times what I needed:

There are lots of recipes for nocino online. They all say to steep green walnuts with a combination of syrup and spices in liquor–either vodka, wine, or a combination of both.

I tried several recipes and found that Imbibe’s recipe was the best. It was also the simplest. You steep the walnuts in vodka for 40 days until the concoction turns the color of motor oil. Then you add syrup, let it sit for 40 more days, and you’re done.

Once finished, I did a taste test. It was pretty great! It lacked the depth of the storebought nocino, but it had all the nutty and sweet notes I was looking for. Best of all, my nocino cost a fraction of the price of the one I bought in the store.

Just how much cheaper is it to make your own nocino? I used a 750 ml bottle of vodka that cost $12 and about $1 in supplies. The green walnuts were foraged and the lemon was free from my garden. All and all, it came to $13 for twice the amount of nocino that you can buy for $30.

That means that a 375 ml bottle of my nocino cost $6.50, where store-bought nocino cost $30. Making my own nocino was 79% cheaper than buying it.

Best of all, it was easy. While making nocino takes 80 days, it only takes a few minutes of work. Here’s how to do it.

Make Your Own Nocino
(This recipe is from Imbibe Magazine)


    16 green walnuts, quartered
    Zest of 1 lemon
    750 ml bottle of vodka
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup sugar
    1 cinnamon stick

    Glass jar
    Cheese cloth
    Glass bottle


In June-August, pick green walnuts from a tree. If that doesn’t work for you, you can purchase them online.

Quarter the green walnuts. Use gloves because the walnuts can stain.

Put the green walnuts and lemon zest in the glass jar. Add the vodka. Cover the jar.

Now it looks like this:

(I didn’t have a lid for my flask, so I used a cheese cloth and a rubber band to cover it.)

Put the jar in a dark place and let the liquid steep for 40 days.

After that time, the liqueur will be dark brown, but will taste abrasive. It’s time to add the syrup.

In the pan, combine water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Turn on the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cool. Throw out the cinnamon stick.

Strain the spent walnuts out of the liqueur. Add the syrup. Cover and let sit for another 40 days.

At the end of that time, strain the liqueur through a cheese cloth to get out the bits of walnut and cinnamon. Pour into a glass bottle.

Ta-da! You’ve got yourself a delicious, versatile liqueur. It makes a great gift, too.

How To Make Lavender Oil

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:05 am on Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lavender, wellness, isolated

This year, I’m finally going to make lavender oil. It’s just a matter of drying lavender from my yard (the plants are going crazy) and steeping it in oil. Here’s How To Make Lavender Oil.

DIY Barbecue Grill Apron

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:06 am on Friday, May 15, 2015


With barbecue season–and Father’s Day–right around the corner, here’s a cool project: DIY Barbecue Grill Apron. You print out the design on printable inkjet transfer paper for light fabric, then iron it onto a plain apron. Pretty cool.

Lemon Beeswax Candles

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:08 am on Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Here’s an interesting idea: Lemon Beeswax Candles, made out of real lemons. They’d be great on a outdoor table at a barbeque this summer.

DIY Pressed Flower iPhone Case

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:41 am on Monday, April 20, 2015


Check it out, DIY Pressed Flower iPhone Case. It’s a white iPhone case with pressed flowers arranged on top, then covered with 50/50 clear-casting epoxy resin.


This would make a great gift.

DIY Colorblocked Scratching Post

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:46 am on Friday, April 3, 2015


DIY Colorblocked Scratching Post. This is quite a project: build the wooden frame, dye the rope, and attach the rope to the post. But it looks pretty great.

DIY Breastfeeding Infinity Scarf

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:18 am on Tuesday, March 24, 2015


This would be a great gift for a new mom: DIY Breastfeeding Infinity Scarf. It only cost $5 to make.

DIY Watermelon Fruit Leather

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:54 am on Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Sometimes I grow too many melons and didn’t know what to do with them all. I’ll have to remember this for next summer: Watermelon Fruit Leather. Apparently it’s just watermelon juice and sugar.

How To Shorten Your Jeans But Keep Their Store-Bought Look

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:15 am on Thursday, March 12, 2015


I’m 5’3″, so jeans are frequently too long for me. I’ve thought about hemming them, but didn’t want to ruin the look of the jeans. But if you’re braver than I am, here’s a tutorial for How To Shorten Your Jeans And Keep The Store-Bought Look.

DIY Chanel Pearl Bobby Pins

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:59 am on Thursday, February 19, 2015


So you like the look of the pearl bobby pins from the recent Chanel fashion show. What do you do? Pay $350 for Chanel’s bobby pins? No! You make your own. It’s an easy project using wire, bobby pins, beads (or pearls), and glue.


Here’s a site telling you how to do it.


And here.


And here.

This is giving me lots of new ideas for my beading supplies…

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