Cobnut brandy to wet the baby's head

We are a bunch of friends, food bloggers and one of them is becoming a mom at christmas time. Much like our Food Revolution Potluck in the summer, we decided to do a Virtual baby shower for Emiko, our dear friend who moved all the way to Australia last year. We all see each as often as we can, even if we do live in different countries and continents, this virtual baby potluck was plotted in the bedroom of an Umbrian casale on one of our foodie get togethers last month. After those first talks before going to sleep, the plotting started via email, getting all excited imagining her pretty face when she finds out we've been planning this surprise. 

Our friendship lasts through our never ending conversation on twitter, facebook, instagram and very long emails... yet far away, we are always close...
Emiko's blog was the first food blog I started to follow back in 2011 and the first food blogger I ever talked with when I first got on the mighty twitter.
She is one of the kindest people I know and I wish her and her husband Marco all the happiness in the world with their gorgeous little daughter end of december.

I bring to Emiko's baby potluck a home made cobnut or hazelnut brandy for Marco, the dad to be.
It is tradition in Britain for the fathers to 'wet the babies head' when their child is born. As much as it is often an excuse to get drunk, it is also part of a drinking culture that has been around for centuries. To 'wet' or to 'whet' the babies head refers to baptism, however in pagan Britain a newborn baby would most likely be celebrated with a drink… or two, or three.

Not only will there be a drink for the dad, there will be a Birthday sponge cake by Giulia, Vegan pumpkin cookies by Zita, Frollini di riso by Jasmine, Gingerbread banana muffins by Valeria, La Belle Helene by Karin, soft cheesecake by Rosella and Savory mini tartlets by Sarka. 

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings
beside your nursery door

Irish blessing for a newborn baby

Cobnut brandy

What do you need
• 500ml jar
• 1 cup golden cobnuts*, shelled and chopped (you can use hazelnuts)
• 2 tablespoons of molasses (or cane sugar)
• just under 500 ml vodka or Eau de vie

Put the chopped cobnuts in a jar and add the sugar, pour over the brandy and close the lid.
Put in a dark place and shake the jar every day morning and evening for a week.
After a week, shake the jar ones a day for a week.
I the sugar is dissolved you can leave your brandy to ripen for a minimum of 2 months.
Why not save it for a special occasion, in this case a 16th birthday?

When you are ready to use the brandy
Strain the brandy with a cheesecloth and discard the nuts
You might need to do this twice depending on how long you have been saving the brandy.
Bottle and use, or leave to mature!

Bottoms up for the newborn!
Cheers Marco and Emiko!

You might also like: 
Drunken cherries
Sloe Gin

*More about cobnuts here >


  1. Regula, you know I'm a big fan of your blog, so I probably needn't tell you how lovely is the post, and the recipe and... the badge, of course, which is totally brilliant! Emiko is so lucky to have such special friends as you and Giulia, and the rest of the girly party girls of course :)

    1. It was lovely to see what came out of this little project! x

  2. Dear Regula, such a nice post and generous of you to make something for dear Marco!!
    Big hugs

    1. The dad usually gets a bit forgotten ;)

  3. Such a lovely post Regula. I hope you will have some brandy left in two weeks. I'm dying to taste it! :) Can't wait to see you soon sweetie! xx

    1. Can't wait to see you too! The brandy however, needs to age a bit longer but you will be able to try the cherry brandy! :)

  4. Marco will be so pleased that someone thought of him! And you do know him well - a drink or two or three, he will happily take up, all in the name of tradition, of course! ;) Jasmine is right, I'm so very lucky to have friends like you girls, plotting away! Wish I could give you an enormous hug right now (but the belly would be in the way anyway)! Thank you from the bottom of my heart xx

    1. So happy you enjoyed it darling! I knew you would love it, but giving brandy to a pregnant lady is frowned upon ;)) Marco, the proud dad to be deserves a bit of the spotlight too, so I thought it would fit in perfectly with wetting the baby's head! :) xxx

  5. that is a great thought to bring something for the daddy! Thank you so much for organizing this and making the lovely badge! your words are beautiful and the cubnuts...are they the one you got at Neal's Yard? :D what a great use of them!

    1. Hi Valeria, yes this is made with the cobnuts we bought together! I had the idea of gifting it to Emiko already back then! :) x

  6. Such a beautiful post, Regula. I fall in love with your photos day by day. You're a talented gem, my friend! I bet Marco would love this brandy! :)

    1. aww thanks Zita darling, that really means a lot!

  7. Beautiful!! I imagine Emiko will want to taste this first as soon as the baby is born!! :)))) Lovely idea for the shower darling!

    1. Thanks lovely lady :)

  8. Oh, finally A few moments to comment on this amazing spirit! I've already told you how I loved the fact that we were all in the same wave length, and I love how you infuse every post with traditions of our beloved England!
    We're a great team! xx

    1. We are a great team indeed! And I love it that when I post my post, I know you will be enjoying the traditions of England as much as I am! See you next week! x

  9. You guys should have a think about converting the content of that article to a you tube video. Would be a super watch.


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