New spiced walnut liqueur heralds new range of Italian-inspired spirits

Pietro Nicola Nocino walnut liqueur

The Scottish-based makers of Dr Adam’s Cocktail Bitters have revealed plans for an Italian-inspired range of spirits, starting with a premium spiced walnut liqueur.

Pietro Nicola will comprise aperitif and digestif spirits that take cues from the multicultural roots of founder Adam Elmegirab. Many of the botanicals are being sourced from the UK, Italy and North Africa, although the products will predominantly be inspired by the drinking culture of Italy.

The brand is named after Elmegirab’s Italian grandmother, Dora Pietro Nicola Casella. It is the third arm of The House of Botanicals, based in Aberdeen, which started with Elmegirab’s range of cocktail bitters and then expanded into Old Tom Gins.

The nocino will be followed in 2020 by a peach fortified wine, a barrel-aged coffee bean spirit and a vermouth.

Pietro Nicola Nocino is an aromatic, spiced and bittersweet walnut liqueur, at 17% ABV, produced using unripe green walnuts that have been macerated in alcohol for 40 days. They are seasoned with an array of natural botanicals including lemon peel, coffee beans, allspice berries, mace blades, vanilla pods, Ceylon cinnamon and cloves.

Although nocino liqueurs are commonly associated with and consumed in Italy as a digestif, they are believed to have origins in the northern and eastern parts of what is now Scotland, with the earliest records linked to the Pictish people who consumed it as a restorative tonic, for its perceived medicinal qualities, and as a digestive aid.

The green walnuts were sourced from specialist English nut supplier Potash Farm in Kent, picked within a short window between July 1 and 25, making it a seasonal expression with no more than 800 bottles produced in 2019. However, larger batches are expected in future years.

The label and branding were designed in-house by Steffie Elan-Elmegirab and the main graphics on all labels were drawn by Abi Read, who previously worked on the illustrations for Dr Adam’s Book of Bitters. The bottle and cork cap have been sourced from an Italian company. The bottle, cap and label are 100% recyclable which is in line with the zero-waste and sustainable approach that runs through the daily operations at The House of Botanicals.

Available in 70cl bottles, Pietro Nicola Nocino has a recommended retail price of £25. It is available from The House of Botanicals’ website and selected retailers.

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