The cosiness of home becomes irresistible during these extremely cold winter days. A family weekend is the best occasion to brush up on excellent traditions that have given us delicious home-made products.
Discover with us 3 artisanal liqueurs to put in the drinks cabinet to give winter the right feel
1 Gentian liqueur
An excellent after-dinner drink, gentian liqueur is a traditional product from Lazio and Abruzzo. It is characterised by a decisive and pungent flavour, and can be difficult to appreciate if you don’t give it a second chance! Whoever appreciates robust tastes, the legacy of peasant traditions, will find in this liqueur a pleasant moment of after-dinner relaxation.
150g of dried gentian root, 3 oranges, 800g of sugar, 4 litres of Malvasia Pinot Bianco 2015 “Collection”, 1 litre of ethyl alcohol
Immerse the grated orange rind in a large container full of wine, add the gentian roots, cover with a cloth and keep for at least a month in a cool, dark room.
After the maceration period, filter the wine and pour it into a pan. Bring to the boil, incorporate the sugar and allow it to liquefy, stirring every now and then. When all the sugar has liquefied, remove from the heat. Add the alcohol, cover, and leave to rest for several days (or even better a whole week). Pour into a bottle, seal with a good quality cork and prepare to serve up a deliciously historic liqueur! Cheers!
2 Walnut liqueur
Obtained from the maceration of spices and green walnuts, Nocillo (the name given to this drink in the Italian region of Campania), is an excellent after-dinner liqueur, ideal for warming up winter evenings. The preparation times are long, and to achieve the best results it is necessary to start collecting ingredients from the end of May.
20 whole green walnuts, 1 lemon, cloves, cinnamon, ½ kg of sugar, 1 litre of ethyl alcohol, 200ml of water
Quarter the green walnuts and place them inside a container. Add the cinnamon and cloves, the grated rind of a lemon and the ethyl alcohol. Seal the container and leave to rest for at least 40 days. To guarantee the best infusion of flavours, shake the container every day: mixing the alcohol will make the flavourings disperse more easily, and will prevent them from resting on the surface.
After the maceration period, liquefy the sugar in hot water. Filter the alcohol, eliminating any residue from the spices and walnuts, and add this to the warm sugar. Now there is nothing left to do but pour the Nocino into bottles: if possible, select bottles made of dark glass and leave them to rest for 4 or 5 months.
3 Chestnut liqueur
Have you kept last autumn’s chestnuts in the freezer? If you love liqueurs that are neither too strong nor too sweet, this could be the perfect recipe for you. One of the most beloved autumnal fruits becomes the star of an unusual drink with lots of character. How is it prepared? It’s much easier than you think!
500g of chestnuts, 300g of sugar, 1 litre of alcohol
Boil the chestnuts until they are soft. Drain them and get rid of the rind, then chop them into pieces. Pour the alcohol into a large container, add the chestnuts, seal the container and leave to rest for at least 20 days. As soon as the maceration period is over, prepare a syrup by liquefying the sugar in roughly half a litre of water. If you want the liqueur to have a thicker consistency, reduce the chestnuts in cream with a blender. If, on the other hand, you prefer a more classic liqueur, discard the chestnuts after the maceration period. Finally, add the syrup to the alcohol, pour into bottles, taking care to seal them well, and leave to rest for another 30 days.
Chestnut liqueur is excellent served at room temperature, but can also be consumed chilled.
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