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Green Almond Liqueur is a whole new kind of awesome with an aromatic but bittersweet flavor! I will show you how easy it is to prepare this liqueur with unripe almonds.

Apr 16 2017 – Wishing you all a very Happy Easter Day! For those of who you do celebrate, hopefully you are surrounded by family at a splendid dinner table. Easter also means Lent is over, if you observed it. In honor of being allowed to bring back a few nice vices into your routine, I offer you a naughty recipe to wake up the bootlegger in you with a homemade Green Almond Liqueur.

Update: May 22 2017 -It has been 6 weeks and the liqueur is now bottled – NEW VIDEO below!

green almond liqueur

One evening last summer while on vacation in Austria, as I sat around the table with my Austrian family, my cousin pulled out a bottle of homemade liqueur. He offered me a glass and I fell in love at first sip. OMG this was the best thing ever! I asked what it was made with and he said green walnuts and gave me a brief idea of how it is made.

As soon as I made it back home I started researching this green walnut liqueur. This liqueur goes by the name of Nocino and is an Italian digestif. The recipe requires, no INSISTS, on green walnuts from the English walnut tree. One cannot use the Black Walnut green fruit as the shell is too hard even when green. Well either way I have never seen any green walnut at any market. So what is this girl to do?

Have you ever seen green almonds before?

Then I remember my local Middle-Eastern grocery store has sometimes green almonds in spring! And guess what I found on there shelves last week? Lots of green almonds! So I immediately bought some as the season to find them in spring is short. The season is over a 6 week period, from April to June.

fresh green almonds

Left on the tree this fluffy green exterior is what will become the shell. At this green stage you can easily bite right into it and enjoy a green almond. The ‘shell’ part does have a bit of a bitter taste and the almond inside is smaller and a bit gelatinous. Green almonds fans eat them like snacks, either dipped in sugar or even salt. Or slice one up to toss into a salad.

Pagan and Christian celebrations unite once again

Since this Eater day is filled with Christian traditions, I wanted to share with a few more notes about the Walnut Liqueur…you know for educational purposes 😉 Sacred walnut trees had a strong presence in pagan belief and we know many religious days now coincide with Christian celebrations. Nocino was always made on the summer solstice, the day with the shortest night.

Through religious influence the walnuts had to be picked on the night of St John the Baptist Day, June 24, another celebration of light’s battle over darkness. Now the best part: the walnuts had to be picked by barefoot virgins who only gathered an uneven number dew-laden green walnuts, usually 23 to 25 green walnuts. Back then, this liqueur batch would be ready to warm your shivering bodies by the time of the winter solstice, but absolutely not to be tasted before November 3rd. In reality, waiting a year is best so that the liqueur can mellow first.

As you can see, besides not even being able to source English green walnuts, there are several factors that dictate that I am not the right candidate to make this liquor…the barefoot part, as I am sure you had all properly guessed 😉

Lets make Green Almond Liqueur!

Come shopping with me in my neighborhood for some ingredients and let’s make the green almond liqueur…

So could I make this Nocino liqueur with green almond? I don’ t see why not. Obviously it will not be identical to the walnut liqueur but an green almond liqueur should be just as good, right? And I already have under belt a few successful and delicious nut and liqueur recipes, such as pistachio syrup and green tea liqueur.

According to the internet, only a few have tried with green almonds and were happy with the results. I am pretty sure this is also a typical Italian recipe as well, I just cannot find the name of it. If you do know the name, please let me know in the comment box below.

steeping green almond liqueur day 1 steeping green almond liqueur day 3

Let’s give this Green Almond Liqueur recipe a try. Right now my Green Almond Liqueur is macerating for the next  for 6 weeks on a window sill. Well 5 weeks as of today. I also did not get enough almonds the first time around (left pic above). I had no idea what the almond equivalent was to 23 green walnuts. But I later found a weight measurement so I doubled my almond quantity two days in (right pic above).

Update Week 6: We are 6 weeks in (left pic below) and as you can see the liquid has gotten a lot darker. In the end we have achieved an amber color when we bottled the Green Almond Liqueur (right pic below).

Green Almond Liqueur Green Almond Liqueur

An experiment in patience

Update Part 2: the six weeks have come and gone. The liqueur has now been bottled. I have prepared a video where I took clips and pics of the liqueur for a weekly update, I filmed the straining process, and had a little first taste.  In a year from now, I shall do a last follow up Part 3 video with the final tasting. Hope you will follow along 🙂

TIP: Keep your original vodka bottle to store the green almond liqueur after it is strained.

And let’s make one thing very clear: this is not Amaretto liqueur. Green almond liqueur is light in texture, not nearly as sweet, and will have a bitter edge to it that will mellow out with time. One can make a second batch from the same almond meal, which will produces a lovely paler version.

We will just have to be a bit patient to find out the real final taste  🙂

Yields 1 liter

Homemade Green Almond Liqueur

Green Almond Liqueur is a whole new kind of awesome with an aromatic but bittersweet flavor! I will show you how easy it is to prepare this liqueur with unripe almonds.

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1.5 pounds green almonds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-inch piece of vanilla bean
  • zest of one citrus
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 liter cheap vodka


  1. Rinse and pat dry the almonds. Carefully cut each almond into quarters.
  2. Place the almonds in a 2 liter glass jar, along with the remaining ingredients. Close the lid tight and shake to mix well.
  3. Place the jar by a window sill and leave to macerate for 6 weeks. You must shake the jar daily, especially at the beginning so the sugar can dissolve. The liqueur will get darker over time.
  4. Strain the liqueur of all solid particles through several layers of cheesecloth. Bottle the liquid back into the original vodka bottles. Cork or seal tightly. Store in a cool, dry place for at least 4 months but preferably for 1 year so the bitter taste can mellow out.
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: Beverage


Feel free to use the spent almonds for a 2nd maceration with the same recipe to get a lovely lighter liqueur.


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