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Walnut Wines and Liquors

Mellen Candage

The Perigord is famous for its walnuts. Read more about this in Walnuts in the Perigord. Here are some suggestions of things to do with them - drink them!

The St Jean Wine

Ingredients - Step One

40 green walnuts
2.5 grams (0.1 oz) of cinnamon shells
1 vanilla bean
2 gentian pods
1 liter (1.8 pints) of brandy (nearly 65% alcohol)

Ingredients - Step Two

5 liters (9 pints) of Algerian wine at 13% (i.e. Mascarat)
1 kg (2.20 pounds) of sugar
2.5 grams (0.1 oz) cloves

Step One: Cut the nuts gathered during St Jean in little bits. Put them in a glass demijohn. Add the cinnamon shells, the vanilla and gentian pods. Add one liter of brandy and leave to soak for 40 days.

Step Two: Then, filter the mixture (not on new moon period), add 5 liters of red wine at 13%, 1kg of sugar and 2.5gr of cloves (to taste). Let it mature for 40 days.

The Walnut Leaves Wine


400 grams (14 oz) of walnut leaves
1/2 liter (0.9 pint) of brandy
2 liters (3.52 pints) of red wine
200 grams (7 oz) of caster sugar

Gather the leaves at the end on June (take only sound leaves, without black marks) and let them dry some days. Squash them with the hands, put them in a 3 liters glass demijohn and add all the ingredients. Cork the bottle and let rest it for at least 2 months. Stir it from time to time. Filter the mixture and put it in bottles.

Walnut Husk liquor

Ingredients - Step One

20 green walnuts gathered at St Jean's
1 liter (1.76 pints) of brandy
2 vanilla pods

Ingredients - Step Two

500 gr (17.5 oz) of caster sugar
25 cl (8.75 fl oz) of water

Step One: Cut the green walnuts (gathered at St Jean's period, before the development of the wood) in little bits. Put them in a glass demijohn and add the brandy with vanilla pods. Cork the demijohn and let soak for 2 months.

Step Two: Filter the demijohn mixture. Prepare a cordial in cooking sugar and water, take out of the fire as soon as you can see the first bubbles, let it cool down and put it in the demijohn. (Do not forget to filter the demijohn mixture before.) Let it rest for one month more. Filter once again, put it in bottles, let it rest for 15 days, and drink,... with moderation!

Mellen Candage is a writer and editor and has been the owner/president of Grammarians, Inc., a publishing and translation company in Alexandria, VA, since 1978. In her "spare time" she is a travel consultant for France and gives culinary and other specialty tours in the Perigord and Provence. Her articles on travel, food, wine, and other European topics have been published in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, International Living, Wine Tidings Magazine, Writer's Digest, FiberArts, and Parenting. krokosbackpack.net/lacoste/

© Mellen Candage, 2000

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