Thursday, March 6, 2014

pistachio liqueur

I love pistachios so much that when a friend offered me a sip of Dumante, a pistachio liqueur, I nearly tackled someone as I lunged towards the cup. Sadly, I was left a little wanting. It had pistachio flavor, but it was really light and gentle. (Pistachios are the most aggressive nut, but this didn't sing to me.)

I found a recipe online for pistachio liqueur, but I wondered how it would turn out if I omitted the spices. Some further research - via misspelling liqueur "liquore", lead me to the glorious discovery that Sicilians make a "creamy" style. Recipes seem to vary between adding actual cows milk cream, or blending the pistachios down and soaking them in alcohol so it is a bit of a nut milk infused booze.

I decided to start with the dairy-free style and see if I could attempt a clear liqueur.

I purchased half a pound of unsalted in-the-shell pistachios, and then shelled them.

Then I rough-chopped them, and it yielded a scant cup of meat.

I added them to a Ball jar (yes I put nuts in a ball jar), and covered them with 750ml of vodka.

I hemmed and hawed about it, but decided I did in fact really want some beautiful vanilla to join the party. I had Madagascar and Tahitian on hand. Smelling both, the Tahitian was the clear winner since it is a much lighter, fruit-ier vanilla, and I am hopefully it will play nicely with the nuts.

Then I took a blurry picture of nuts settling with the bean.

I labeled the jar and made a pact with myself to shake it every few days and taste it after two weeks.