Culinary Inspiration

California walnuts have earned their place at the dinner table, in your afternoon snacks, and in the best desserts and baked goods, but the possibilities don’t stop there. Walnuts have a subtle earthiness and texture appropriate for some pretty tasty cocktails and mocktails, too. “Happy hours” may look different these days, but more time at home means more time to become your very own master mixologist!

Smooth Drinks with a Nutty Twist

With such a subtle profile that blends well with the balanced earthy flavor of walnuts, try a vodka based beverage. It’s often used with walnuts and peppery spices to mix up a stout nocino liqueur. Toasted walnuts are paired with vodka to become the cornerstone of California Walnut Liqueur, adding a rich essence that’s smooth and drinkable on its own or in your favorite cocktail. It’s an original must-have to elevate the home bar.

Some nights call for playful drinks such as the Walnut Horchata Martini, featuring a coffee liqueur and walnut milk. This cocktail is fun and tasty all year round, but with the bold flavors of coffee and cinnamon paired with creamy walnut milk, this martini will transport you to the days of late summer and early fall with just one sip.

Admit it – sometimes you just want a cookie and a nightcap. That’s when you whip up a decadent California Walnut “Milk Mustache” and grab your favorite sweet treat. The nutty undertones and hints of honey in this smooth vodka cocktail can help you relax and prepare for sweet sleep.

If a more mellow nightcap – sans alcohol – sounds better to you, try this delightful recipe for Lavender Infused Walnut Milk, and be transported in your dreams to the South of France.

Fruit & Nut Concoctions

If creamy martinis aren’t quite your speed, grab the gin and make a California Walnut & Apricot Martini. The fruity zest of orange, apricot and grapefruit balanced with the hearty taste of walnuts exudes sophistication.

Both walnut cocktail connoisseurs and novice craft mixologists would be wise to keep a batch of sweet Walnut “Orgeat” on hand. With the refreshing hint of orange blossom and rich walnuts, this cocktail base will add a hint of sweetness to your next libation. It lasts up to two weeks in the fridge, making it a perfect beverage option for busy days.

If you’re still craving something fruity and nutty, but more in the mood for a non-alcoholic beverage, try this Walnut, Fig & Date Milkshake. This creamy concoction is made with walnuts, dates and vanilla ice cream, then swirled with fig jam.Top it with walnuts for added crunch and a drizzle of honey.

Modern, Tropical & Classic

One great way to put that aromatic walnut orgeat to use is to add bourbon and serve up a California Walnut & Salted Caramel Martini. This little gem is like a modern tribute to ladies’ night in a glass. It’s decadent and beautiful with just the right amount of kick, making it the star of your at-home bar’s cocktail menu.

When it’s time for slow sipping dark, smooth spirits, nothing is better than Walnuts Take Manhattan. This eloquent twist on a classic recipe features bourbon-soaked walnuts to enhance the warm, aromatic flavors. Rim the glass with lemon peel, and let the day melt away.

If you love the idea of enjoying a sophisticated homemade mocktail, try this Cold-Brewed Smoked Walnut Soda. Made with ginger, black tea, and walnuts, prep this brew the night before. Be sure to make enough to share and enjoy all week long!

The next time you’re playing bartender at home, turn to California walnuts to create some incredible libations. These nutty little gems add that something special to your favorite drinks and offer divine inspiration for new craft beverages.

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