Walnut Old Fashioned

Walnut Old Fashioned

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It’s five o’clock somewhere.

It’s Friday.

And sometimes, at the end of a long cold week, you just want a drink. For me, nothing hits the spot quite like a well balanced cocktail.

Dan and I are big fans of the craft cocktail movement that’s taken hold in Chicago. Our liquor cabinet is actually two cabinets because the first one ran out of room. We love discovering new ways to make use of the interesting assortment of spirits, liqueurs, amari, and bitters that seem to multiply in two’s and three’s every time we  step out to shop for one new cocktail ingredient.

Walnut Old Fashioned


This take on the classic old-man drink, the old fashioned, hits all the right buttons. It’s a spirit forward cocktail (read: boozy) with apple-y notes from the calvados, walnuttiness from the nocino, rounded sweetness from the maple syrup, warm baking spice notes from the angostura, and a hint of brightness from the lemon peel. It’s comforting and boozy enough that you’ll want to drink it slowly. (And it’s also a great use of the bottle of nocino that’s been kicking around on our shelf for months.)

If you like the darker liquors (whiskey, brandy, rum) you’d probably also be a fan of calvados, also known as apple brandy, and nocino (prononced no-chee-no), a traditional Italian walnut liqueur.

We made this for a friend’s birthday dinner in December, and it was a hit with everyone who had one. It’s become a regular in our cocktail rotation this winter.

I limit my alcohol intake for health reasons, which raises the bar for what I consider “worth it”. This one easily clears that bar. If you are looking for a new winter cocktail, give this one a shot.

Walnut Old Fashioned

Walnut Old Fashioned

Walnut Old Fashioned

Yield: 1 drink
Source: Adapted from Anu Apte of Seattle’s Rob Roy, on Imbibe
This is a great spirit forward winter cocktail. Calvados is also known as apple brandy, and nocino is a walnut liqueur.


  • 2 ounces calvados
  • 1/4 ounce nocino
  • 1/4 ounce maple syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters


  1. Chill an old fashioned glass.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except the lemon peel in a mixing tin and stir with ice until cold. Strain into the glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with lemon peel.


Walnut Old Fashioned. A spirit-forward cocktail with calvados (apple brandy), nocino, and a bit of maple syrup. #cocktails #apple #fall #winter #oldfashioned


  • Oh, wow! I’ve never tried nocino, this sounds intriguing.


  • I actually have a bottle of calvados in my liquor cabinet — but I need to pick up nocino (which sounds amazing). Wondering if you could make a pitcher of these old fashioneds to serve at a holiday party… They sound ON POINT.


  • Simply beautiful! I’m going to make this for one of my best friends. She is an old fashioned lover and she is going enjoy this simple twist on this classic drink.


  • I just recently tried my very first Old Fashioned and I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the flavors were. This sounds like the perfect drink to me.


  • I wondered how you got the walnut in there! I forgot about nocino! I have a friend who makes it and it is just ready around the holidays! I have to try this! Thanks!


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