Nocino Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Nocino Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:40%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Nocino is a dark-brown, sticky and slightly bitter liqueur that is made from unripe green walnuts. It is a traditional Italian liqueur, with its origins dating back to the Pagan times. It's typically enjoyed as a digestif, after a meal. The process of making Nocino involves steeping green walnuts in alcohol, along with a mix of spices and sugar, for a period of time. The result is a rich, complex and aromatic liqueur that is both warming and comforting.

How Nocino Tastes?

Nocino has a rich, complex and slightly bitter taste. It has notes of walnut, vanilla, and spices, with a hint of sweetness. The finish is long and warming, with a pleasant bitterness that lingers on the palate.

Interesting facts about Nocino

  • Nocino is traditionally made on the night of St. John's feast, on June 24th.
  • The number of walnuts used in the recipe is traditionally 24, to match the date.
  • The liqueur is typically aged for at least one year before it's consumed.


  • Green walnuts: 24
  • Grain alcohol: 1 liter
  • Sugar: 700 grams
  • Cloves: 10
  • Cinnamon stick: 1
  • Lemon zest: 1

Green Walnuts

Green walnuts are harvested before they mature, which gives Nocino its distinct, robust flavor. Without them, you'd miss the essence of the drink – it's like Batman without his cape! Too many might overpower your senses, too few and the taste won't fly.

Alex Green

Grain Alcohol

Grain alcohol is the blank canvas of our Nocino art. It extracts the flavors from other ingredients and preserves them. Lower proof spirits could get you a weaker extraction, and a less intense flavor profile.

Mary Mitkina


This sweet deal balances the bitterness of the walnuts. 700 grams is the sweet spot – more might be overkill, like sugar-rushing a toddler, less could leave you in bitter-town.

Emma Rose

Cloves and Cinnamon Stick

The spice must flow! These add depth and warmth. Remove them and say goodbye to that festive flair. Swap cinnamon with nutmeg, and you'll twist the cocktail into a slightly different tapestry of taste.

Alex Green

Lemon Zest

A zest of lemon brings freshness to cut through the heavy flavors. Without it, the drink might feel a bit too 'nutty'. A bit of orange zest could be an alternative, offering a more pronounced citrusy note.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Nocino Drink

  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. Cut the green walnuts into quarters.
  3. Place the walnuts in a large jar, and add the alcohol, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest.
  4. Seal the jar and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 40 days.
  5. After 40 days, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth and bottle the liqueur.
  6. Let the Nocino age for at least one year before consuming.

Pro Tips

  • The longer you let the Nocino age, the better it will taste.
  • Make sure to store the Nocino in a cool, dark place to prevent it from spoiling.
  • You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.

Perfect Pairings


Pair Nocino with bold and mature cheeses, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or aged Cheddar. The rich flavors of the nuts and spices will complement the depth of a good cheese.


Nocino is also excellent served with desserts, especially those featuring chocolate, coffee, or spices. Think about a warm chocolate lava cake or a slice of tiramisu.

Cured Meats

Cured meats like prosciutto or salami can be a great match due to the contrast between the sweetness of Nocino and the salty savouriness of the meats.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Nocino

If you can't find green walnuts, you can substitute them with regular walnuts, but the flavor will be slightly different. Also, you can substitute the grain alcohol with vodka or rum.

Explore all drinks starting with N here

And of course - twists🍹

Espresso Nocino

Ingredients: Add a shot of espresso. Recipe: Simply mix a shot of espresso with the Nocino after the aging process, and serve over ice. Description: This version adds a coffee kick, perfect for those who love a bitter edge to their sweet treats.

Caramel Nocino

Ingredients: Replace 200 grams of sugar with caramel. Recipe: Swap out some sugar for an equal amount of melted caramel when preparing the brew. Let it age as usual. Description: This introduces a creamy, buttery dimension that’ll make your taste buds dance.

Citrusy Nocino

Ingredients: Add the zest of an orange and a grapefruit. Recipe: Alongside the lemon zest, include zest from an orange and grapefruit for an extra citrus punch. Description: It's like a citrus orchestra playing harmoniously with the walnut's rich tones.

In case you forgot basics how to make Nocino

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Nocino

Is Nocino available commercially?

Yes, Nocino is available for purchase, particularly in Italy. However, many people prefer to make it at home considering it is a traditional homemade liqueur.

Can Nocino be used in any cocktails?

Absolutely, Nocino can be used in a variety of cocktails that call for a rich, complex nutty flavor. One popular cocktail is the 'Nocino Negroni,' which combines Nocino, gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.

Is the alcohol content in Nocino always 40%?

The alcohol content in Nocino can vary. When you make it at home, it largely depends on the alcohol content of the spirit you use. Store-bought Nocino typically has an alcohol content ranging between 30% and 40%.

How long does Nocino last?

Nocino can last for many years if stored properly. The high concentration of alcohol acts as a preservative, allowing the liqueur to keep without spoiling. Consume it within 2-3 years for optimal flavor.

Is Nocino gluten-free?

Yes, Nocino is gluten-free as it's made with ingredients that do not traditionally contain gluten. However, if purchasing a commercially made bottle, check the labels or contact the manufacturer to confirm, as some may use additive ingredients that contain gluten.

More similar recipes to Nocino!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe