Vin de noix (nut wine) is a popular aperitif here in the Périgord area where walnuts are synonymous with the local landscape. Apparently, it's been made in the area since the 16th century and is considered a medicinal wine, a tonic and good for digestion too. It is one of my favourite aperitifs.
As it is common for families to make this at home I thought that I'd spend an afternoon doing just that, starting with foraging for the nuts...
Tradition dictates that it is made with nuts picked from the end of June until 22nd of July with the best being those picked green on Midsummer's Day. At this stage, they are still green on the outside and milky on the inside.
The ingredients are: 40 green walnuts, 5 litres of red wine, 1 litre of eau de vie, 1 kg sugar, some vanilla and some cloves.
Method: After bashing the walnuts with a rolling pin, all the ingredients are mixed together and the vat is stored in a dark place for at least 40 days, turning occasionally. Note to self, next year wear gloves as my fingers and nails went brown!
It was a fun activity and I have my fingers crossed that it will taste good when I break the seal in 40 days.... I'm thinking that this will be a good drink to bring out at Christmas!