Nocino (“no-cheeno”) has a history filled with superstition and tradition. The liqueur is made in northern Italy, where unripe, green walnuts are gathered on St. John the Baptist Day (June 24), then sliced and stored with sugar for a day before spices are mixed in. The concoction ferments for at least 60 days—the longer you wait, the richer the taste—and is ready to sip in the colder months. A murky brown with a syrupy consistency, subtle spice undertones, and a nutty aftertaste, nocino’s flavour notoriously evades description. The liqueur is appearing in the North American market: Ampersand Distilling Company’s Nocino! is sweetened with B.C. honey and infused with cinnamon in a medley of Italian tradition and Canadian ingredients.
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