This simple hazelnut liqueur recipe only takes minutes to prepare but results in a deliciously rich and smooth nut flavoured liqueur that is perfect for gifting.
Where do hazelnuts come from?
Hazelnuts, Cobnuts, and Filberts are the nut from the various species of Hazel Tree (Corylus). The Hazel tree is native to the Northern Hemisphere and is common across North America, Europe and Asia.
Due to its flexible nature, Hazel is traditionally used for fencing, baskets and the frames of coracle boats. The trees can be coppiced, with regenerating shoots allowing for harvests every few years.
Hazelnuts are the fruit of the Hazel tree. All hazelnuts are edible, and archaeological evidence shows that they have been eaten here in the UK for thousands of years. They even play a part in our mythology, with the Celts believing that eating hazelnuts gave one wisdom and inspiration.
Nowadays, hazelnuts are commonly used in baking, chocolate making and spread as well as turned into a delicious hazelnut flavoured liqueur.
When should you harvest Hazelnuts?
Hazelnuts begin to ripen when the leaves on the trees change colour. Once the papery outer covering starts pulling back from the nut, they are edible. Hazelnuts can either be picked and eaten green (which may not be to everyone’s taste) or left to ripen in a warm, dry place.
For those who don’t happen on a Hazel tree while out walking, or are beaten to the spoils by the local squirrel population, they are also readily available both shelled and unshelled in supermarkets at this time of year.
What you need to make 1 litre of hazelnut flavoured liqueur
- 400g Hazelnuts
- 600mls Vodka
- 150mls Brandy
- Large glass preserving jar (Amazon Affiliate link)
- Glass Bottles (Amazon Affiliate link)
After your nuts have infused for a month, you will also need the following to make a simple syrup to sweeten the hazelnut liqueur.
- 150mls sugar
- 200mls Water
How to make Hazelnut Liqueur
Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and lightly toast them in an oven for 10-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.
Once toasted, pour the nuts straight on to a clean tea towel and wrap them up. Leave to steam for 1 minute, before rubbing the nuts in the towel to remove the loose skins. Generally, I find that about half the skins come off.
Pop the nuts in a glass preserving jar and add both the vodka and brandy. You can make any quantity of this hazelnut liqueur recipes, but keep the proportions of 4/5ths vodka to 1/5th brandy.
Leave to infuse for at least one month in a cool, dark place, giving the jar a shake when you remember.
After a month, strain the hazelnut flavoured liqueur and sweeten with sugar syrup to taste.
How to make a simple sugar syrup.
Make a sugar syrup by gently heating 150g sugar in about 200ml of water until it dissolves. Leave to cool, then add to the liqueur in increments until you are happy with the taste.
Hazelnut liqueur will benefit from being left to mature for another couple of months after bottling. The residual nuts are delicious added to cakes and brownies.
If you have enjoyed our hazelnut liqueur recipe, why not check out some of our other wonderful foraged and hedgerow liqueurs and infusions. You can find a list of our favourites below.
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