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Nocino: Part Two

September 1, 2010

Green walnut infusion with citrus peel & spices.

It’s time to finish making nocino!  Sixty-odd days ago I put up some green walnuts, spices, citrus peel, and sugar to steep in alcohol.  I ended up with a large, glass jar full of a fragrant, dark brown liquid I’m betting would make a lovely wood stain.  However, I continue to be patient and hopeful, so here’s the procedure for Nocino: Part Two.  (My post on the first part of the process  is here: Nocino: Part One.)

  • Combine 1 L water and 2 cups granulated sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  I used raw cane sugar, and the tiny bit of molasses residue in the sugar turned the simple syrup a lovely golden brown color.  While I doubt that raw cane sugar (versus refined white sugar) would have suited the limoncello, I think it will add a pleasantly subtle, caramel note to the nocino.
  • Strain the green walnuts, spice, and citrus peel out of the infusion.  I used a slotted spoon.  Don’t forget to wear gloves and avoid splattering your kitchen with the infusion — it will stain!

Straining the infusion + simple syrup through cheesecloth.

  • Combine the cooled simple syrup and infusion, and strain through cheesecloth into clean, glass bottles.
  • Let the nocino age in the bottles for at least another 4 months before drinking (6 months total from start of infusion).

Bottled nocino.

My batch of nocino should be ready to drink right as my second Iowa winter sets in.  If last winter’s record-breaking snowfall (and the flood-inducing deluge of this summer) are any indication of the weather that lies ahead, then this nocino may ease me through a lengthy hibernation!

  1. September 2, 2010 4:06 pm

    iiiiiinteresting. I’m making nocino for the first time and came across your recipe after I’d already gotten started. So mine is different, and didn’t have the simple syrup stage. I’ll be checking back for Part Three: uncorked!

    If you’re interested, you can read about my nocino experiments here:

  2. September 2, 2010 4:10 pm

    I am interested! I know a lot less about nocino than limoncello, so I went with this recipe simply because I had Everclear on hand. The friends who turned me on to it in the first place used a recipe that started with 90 proof vodka and added sugar (not simple syrup) to their infusion. I’ll be looking forward to the uncorked exchange!

  3. Kathryn Moore permalink
    September 14, 2010 1:24 pm

    This make be on my list of things to do next summer. Where did you get those bottles? I am currently making Plum Brandy and its getting to the point where I need to get them into bottles to finish aging. Thanks!

  4. September 14, 2010 2:32 pm

    Ooh, Plum Brandy sounds delicious. I’ve had good experiences ordering from both Sunburst Bottle ( and e-Bottles ( — I got the slender, tapered dessert bottles for my limoncello (also, the two front bottles of nocino in the photo) from Sunburst. The 750 mL bottles for the nocino (pictured in the back row) were bought locally in Ames, IA, at a beer-brewing and wine-making supply store called Chester’s. Good luck finding some pretty bottles for your brandy!

  5. September 14, 2010 4:34 pm

    I’m glad you asked about glassware – I still have my nocino stored in big jars and was just thinking about figuring this out.

    Have either of you experimented with giving this as gifts? What bottle size is nice without decimating your supply? Right now I’m looking at the Boston bottles on ebottle, and 4- or 8-oz seems like the best bet.

  6. September 14, 2010 5:40 pm

    Beth, I usually give 8-oz or 12-oz bottles as gifts, figuring that 1 to 2 oz. is a reasonable serving size.


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