I know of nocino only from a few discussions (probably on the
Calontir brewers list). Both everclear and vodka are considered
neutral spirits. I believe everclear is usually made from grain
while vodka a variety of fermentables from grain to potatoes.
Biringuccio's Pirotechnica (1545) and many other sources
include methods and equipment of producing aqua vita the medieval
version of these neutral spirits. Of course you would buy these not
produce them yourself as that is not legal without a license.
Barrel aged versions like scotch, brandy and bourbon would all have
different flavors and would not be want unless you found a specific
medieval recipe saying specificly so. Also be aweare that American
black walnuts and English walnuts are two different things. It
would do you good to find out what species the modern version is
made from. I doubt that tradition has ever "switched" species
although its possible. If you find a period recipe for nocino
please send it my way as I would be very interested. Also check out
Digby, and Hugh Plat's delights for ladies . There might
have been something in there. I don't have them available right now.
Master Gerald Goodwine