Walnut Wine Recipe
Walnut wine has been traditionally consumed in Europe, in France and Italy in particular, during the times of winter holidays, especially for Christmas and new year. In the old days of no refrigeration, a lot of meat (especially pork) was consumed air cured as dried sausages (salami) and ham, or smoked. People took the habit to take vermifuges and other plant-based medicines such as walnut wine to protect themselves from infections. This medication is so good tasting that people use it now for celebrations at any time of the year. Ingredients for each 1-quart size canning jar: • 5 or 6 green walnuts • 1 cup to 1 and ½ cup of brandy or fruit-based vodka, let sit for 3 month • Top up with a good but not expensive red wine that can age (Côtes du Rhône) • ½ cup of sugar
Please don’t add any spice. That would spoil the full flavor of your walnut wine. Spices can be added according to taste, one bottle at a time, by cooking the wine with the spices of choice, making a "vin chaud" drunk during cold winter days or nights. Since this walnut wine will get better with age, I recommend that you make several jars. Wait at least one year before opening a jar. Open the jars one at a time, and bottle the unused content into smaller bottles. After a year or two the wine will keep and age beautifully even without the walnut in it, but keep the walnuts in as long as you don’t have to open a jar. The wine starts to reach maturity after three years and keeps getting better every year. A well-made 9-year-old walnut wine is better than any old Port wine. Beyond nine years old it becomes exquisite and should be labelled “special reserve” and used for celebrations only. Larger Quantities: For 24 - 30 green walnuts picked up during the late summer month of July or early August before they start to turn brown (be watchful as the time of maturation can change every year). The more mature walnuts are, the more potent their anti-parasitic capacities. But they have to be unbruised and without patches of brown. • 6 1-quart size dark glass canning jars • 6 bottles of a good red wine • 1 quart and 1/2 of fruit alcohol (45% alcohol - brandy or vodka not made with corn, potatoes, beets or any grain) • 3 cups of sugar • Divide the walnuts and the fruit alcohol between the 6 jars. Keep away for 3 months • Then, add the red wine and the sugar (the amount of sugar can be adjusted to taste. Just remember that it is easier to add more sugar later than to try to take it out. • Label the bottles with name, origin, maker, and most important, the date and the year. • Every year open one or more jars, filter and pour the content into smaller bottles that you close or cork air-tight. The walnut wine can age beautifully bottled. Don’t forget to label the bottles. The older walnut wine gets, the better it will be. After three years of age walnut wine only starts to get its full-bodied flavor. I had some 12 years old walnut wine that was better than the best port wine. If you make walnut wine every year and keep saving some bottles every year, you will be able to build your own private special reserve of old bottles for very special celebrations. Be merry and stay healthy!