Nocino + oat milk winter cocktail with preserved cherries

Our last Scrap Supper | Winter Edition was a huge success! We were so excited to host at Tendue in SE Portland. It was a lovely backdrop for our plant-based, gluten-free, zero waste supper. The meal was topped off with our creative cocktail pairings, highlighting some rad Portland spirits. Our first drink was a beetroot simple syrup with potato vodka + soda, accented with a rosemary rim and a candied meyer lemon peel. Near the end of the meal we served a nocino + oat milk winter cocktail with preserved cherries. It was de-lite-ful, let me tell ya.

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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

Stay hungry,
Hawnuh Lee
Closed Loop Cooking

Nocino + oat milk winter cocktail with preserved cherries   by

A perfect winter cocktail using young walnut liqueur, handmade oat milk, and preserved cherries for a kiss of summer. 

makes: 2 servings | prep time: 10 min | soak time: 30 | total time: 10 min

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  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 5 cups cold water (2 cups for soaking, 3 cups for milk - use less water for thicker milk)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 4 ounces nocino
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 2 tbsp liquid from preserved cherries
  • 1 preserved cherry


Oat milk

  1. Soak oats in large bowl in 2 cups cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes strain water using a fine sieve or strainer.
  3. Add last 3 cups cold water (in 1.5 increments if you have a smaller machine), salt, and maple syrup to a food processor and blend for about 1 minute.
  4. Place a thin dishcloth or super fine mesh nut milk bag over a bowl. Slowly pour oat milk mixture over cloth to strain. Set milk aside.
  5. Save oat pulp in the fridge for 3 – 4 days or freeze for later use. Add in to cookies, oatmeal, breads, or soup for a subtle oat flavor!


  1. Shake oat milk well. Combine oat milk, nocino, and preserved cherry liquid and stir.
  2. Split mixture between 2 glasses.
  3. Add a preserved cherry for garnish. You can also use other dried or preserved fruits you have on hand to this drink, like dried apples. Enjoy!


Oat milk will last in the fridge for about 1 week, but best when fresh. Always serve cold, heat will make this milk gummy. Make sure to shake well before use.

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