Cardinal Spirits distillery will release a limited supply of a green walnut liqueur, nocino 4 p.m. Nov. 4. Nocino is one of the local distillery’s most highly demanded products.
Nocino is a rare Italian liqueur made around the world. This release of nocino is an Indiana exclusive, and some cases will only be available in the Cardinal Spirits tasting room on Morton Street — by the bottle or in cocktails. In the coming weeks, the nocino will also be in Rig Bed and other Indiana stores while supply lasts.
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There will only be 20-30 cases of nocino available, and due to the product's demand, Cardinal Spirits co-founder Adam Quirk doesn’t expect them to last long. There will be a limit of two bottles per customer while supplies last. Each bottle is 750 ml and costs $40.
Cardinal Spirits, which opened in 2015, hand-harvests the walnuts for their nocino while they are still green in the mid-summer before they steep them in the fall in vodka, spices and citrus. Cardinal Spirits made and sold their first batch of nocino back in 2016, but haven’t had it in stock since 2019 due to frost killing the walnuts early in the season.
“It's a really unique product because we only use a certain kind of walnut; it's called a Carpathian walnut,” Quirk said. “We harvest them from my family's trees up in Fort Wayne, so when those trees have a bad year, we don't get the walnuts.”
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The spirit can be sipped neat, made into cocktails and even poured over ice cream for dessert. Quirk is trying to find more Carpathian walnut trees so they can harvest a bigger batch next year.
Quirk said he hopes to see a big crowd of IU students at 922 S. Morton St. for the nocino release this weekend.
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