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Pistacio Liqueur - The Process

Charlie posted a request on one of my other blog entries for the pistacio liqueur recipe.

The key to good results is the freshness of the pistacio nuts. Don't scrimp on quality here. The fresher and greener the nut meats the better your result. The flavor comes from the oils in the nuts, so if they are old and stale, you won't have as much flavor and you risk a rancid taste.


2-3 cups pistacio nut meats (unroasted, unsalted, and with any loose inner skin brushed off)
1 1/2 cups grain alcohol
1 1/2 cups 80 proof vodka (a quality brand but not necessarily top shelf)
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups white granulated sugar

Step One

Put the nuts in a large sealable glass jar (I use a gallon size glass jar with a rubber sealing ring and a metal hasp) Add alcohols. Shake to stir and put away in a dark place.

Step Two (infusing)

Every day for about 14 days agitate jar to expose all surfaces of the nuts to the alcohol. The 14 days is really a subjective number. You are looking for an intense dark green color liquid that you can't see through. So, if that happens before 14 days, great. If it takes a little longer, that's great too. If you don't think you're getting the intensity you need, scoop out the nuts and add fresh ones.


Step Three

When infusion reaches desired color, It is time to make your simple syrup. Put the sugar and water in a sauce pan and boil until the sugar melts and the mixture is crystal clear. Then cool the syrup COMPLETELY.

Step Four

Scoop out the nuts and save. Pour the liquid through a coffee filter into a clean jar. Add the cooled simple syrup. Stir and return to the cool dark place to allow to mellow for a few weeks.

Alcohol content:
If my math is correct, this works out to 43% alcohol or a little more than 80 proof. You can reduce the alcohol content by increasing the amount of simple syrup you make, but remember that you will also be increasing the sweetness. As an alternative, you can use food grade glycerin to thicken plain water and add that to your batch.

Don't waste the nuts. Spread them out on paper towels and dry them in the sun. Or dry them in a very low oven with the door cracked. Then use them in any recipe you would normally. The alcohol adds a fun twist. I like to make chocolate/pistacio bark with mine.

Comments (1)

That sounds really good. I've never tried it before. Probably stupid question, but when you say grain alcohol, would that be Everclear?

Deborah responds: Yup. Everclear.

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