Nocino is a sticky dark brown liqueur from Emilia-Romagna region made from unripe green walnuts steeped in spirit. It has an aromatic but bittersweet flavour. Nocino is a typical homemade product, but it is possible to find it also in the supermarkets. Commercially available Nocino is typically 40% alcohol by volume, or 80 proof. Nocino is believed to have originally been produced by the Celts, and, during the Middle Ages, Italian monasteries used nocino for its medicinal properties and also as an alcoholic treat. Ordine del Nocino Modenese is an association of Spilamberto which, since 1978, promotes the traditional Nocino of Modena.
- 1 litre of alcohol 95°
- 700/900 gr sugar
- 1 kg walnuts (about 33-35 walnuts always in odd number)
The walnuts must rigorously be of local origin and free of any kind of treatment. Moreover, they must be collected in the period riding on the day of St. Giovanni Battista (24th June), as the tradition indicates. The right consistency of the walnut is to be evaluated by piercing it with a pin or verified by spilling it in half with a knife.
In addition, cloves and cinnamon can be added dosed so that the prevailing aroma in the liqueur is always that of the walnut and that the overall bouquet results harmonious.
Once collected, the walnuts must be cut into 4 parts and put into a glass container together with sugar. After keeping them at the sun for 1-2 days and mixing periodically, the walnuts are ready to be added to the alcohol and the aromas. The obtained product must be placed in an area partially exposed to the sun, occasionally opened and re-mixed. It has to be filtered not before 60 days. It is recommended bottling in dark glass containers and/or refining the product in wooden barrels. One can choose either oak or chestnut wood as long as the barrel has been properly treated before use. Nocino must be store in a cool place for minimum of 12 months if one wishes to fully appreciate all the organoleptic characteristics of this liqueur.
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