Nocino is a local spirit from Portland’s own Stone Barn Brandyworks. This was my first introduction to this smooth, subtle liqueur and it will definitely not be the last this winter. Nocino is a spirit distilled from young walnuts. Often found in the backyards and neighborhoods of Portland, these unripe nuts are gathered off local walnut trees in early summer. The nuts are macerated and diced (and release a dark liquid that will stain that heck out-a ya!) and combined with rye whiskey, pinot noir brandy, with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and other warm spices. The end product is a delightful, fruitcake-inspired spirit that is perfect for any winter cocktail. We loved pairing nocino with handmade oat milk and preserved cherries for a hint of summer. (The leftover oat pulp was repurposed into a gluten-free sourdough bread!)
Note – this is not a sponsored post in any way, I just fell in love with this dark magic.
Another aspect of the distilling process that aligns with our ideology is the re-use of nocino barrels and nut pieces. (Sebastien over at Stone Barn was kind enough to walk me through the entire distilling process and indulged my excitement over multi-use barrels :D) After a round of nocino has been processed and bottled the leftover barrel still holds all of that unique flavoring. Stone Barn does an awesome job of partnering with other local breweries and distilleries to pass along these barrels for other uses. Nocino has infused beers, ciders, and other liquors for one-of-a-kind combinations.
We loved this winter cocktail! You can use just about any non-dairy milk for this recipe but oat milk has a nice depth that compliments the nocino. Plus, oat milk can be made quickly, only 30 minutes of soaking required!
All photos in this article are courtesy of Leslie Kavasch, you can find more of her work here on Instagram.
Great for a night in! Or several nights in, let’s be real, it’s January 😀
Let us know if you give it a try! #closedloopcooking
Closed Loop Cooking