Crème de Noyaux

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Creme de Noyaux (pronounced [kʁɛm də nwajo]) is an almond-flavored crème liqueur made from apricot kernels, which also flavor the better-known, brandy-based amaretto. It may also be made from the almond-shaped kernels contained within peach pits.[1] Both Bols and Hiram Walker produce artificially colored red versions of the liqueur (either of which contribute the pink hue to Pink Squirrel cocktails) while Noyau de Poissy from France is available in both clear (blanc) and barrel-aged amber (ambre) versions.

Through meticulous research over a period of several years, Tempus Fugit Spirits recreated in 2013 a 19th-century-style Crème de Noyaux, distilling both apricot and cherry pit kernels, amongst other botanicals and colored the liqueur with red cochineal, as was done in the past. Care was taken to remove the trace elements of hydrocyanic acid (cyanide) produced by this old process. Although the chemical was not present in a dangerous intensity, bottles of 19th-century Noyaux left for decades in the cellar would sometimes have all the cyanide float up to the top, with unfortunate results for the drinker of the first glass. Dorothy Sayers used this peculiarity of the old Crème de Noyaux in her short story "Bitter Almonds".

The name comes from the French noyau: "kernel, pit, or core". It is an ingredient in the Fairbank cocktail,[2] the Pink Squirrel cocktail[3] and in a cocktail called Old Etonian.[4]


  1. ^ "Recipe for homemade Ratafia aux Noyau with peach pits". 6 November 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Recipe for Fairbank Cocktail". 7 April 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Recipe for Pink Squirrel cocktail". 7 May 1995. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Recipe for Old Etonian". Retrieved 26 April 2011.