What to Make With All That Nocino

Matthew Biancaniello shares his drink (and dessert!) recipes using homemade walnut liqueur

So, you’ve picked your walnuts and made your nocino. Now, what to do with it? Drinks wizard Matthew Biancaniello—who you can find mixing cocktails at Cliff’s Edge each Wednesday night this summer—makes his own walnut liqueur each year and has plenty of ideas of how to incorporate it into cocktails and even an ice cream sundae.

“The great thing about my nocino this year is that I soaked the 151 potato vodka that you use for the base with kumquats for two months before,” says Biancaniello. “Then I used wild green walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, wild bay leaf, and, thanks to master forager Pascal Baudar, I added white fir—the ingredient of the year for anyone’s nocino. Simply amazing!”

No matter how you made it, here are Biancaniello’s suggestions for using the stuff.

1. Fig Bourbon and Nocino Cocktail

  • 2 ounces fig infused bourbon (2 baskets of black mission figs in one bottle of basil Hayden’s bourbon for one week)
  • 1 ounce homemade nocino
  • Stir and strain with a kaffir lime leaf zest on top

2. Seasonal Nocino Sundae

  • Make your own ice cream [editor’s note: or don’t]
  • Pour nocino on top
  • Add steamed Blenheim apricots and salted peanuts

3. Three Faces of Van Gogh

  • 1 ounce Cynar
  • 1 ounce nocino
  • 1/2 ounce creme de cassis
  • 1 ouce fresh passionfruit pulp
  • Shake and strain over ice