House of Botanicals unveils Italian-inspired spirits

Scotland-based producer The House of Botanicals has launched the first expression in its new range of Italian-inspired spirits.

The new range, called Pietro Nicola, will form the third arm of The House of Botanicals’ business, after the firm’s Old Tom gins and Dr Adam Elmegirab's Bitters portfolios. The series is named after Dora Pietro Nicola Casella, the Italian grandmother of The House of Botanicals’ founder. Bottled at 17% ABV, Nocino is the first of four aperitivo and digestivo products launching in the Pietro Nicola range over the next 12 months. Nocino is an “aromatic, spiced and bittersweet” walnut liqueur that is produced using unripe green walnuts from the Potash Farm in England. The walnuts have been macerated in alcohol for 40 days and seasoned with botanicals including lemon peel, coffee beans, allspice berries, mace blades, vanilla pods, Ceylon cinnamon and cloves. Now more commonly drunk in Italy as a digestif, Nocino is thought to have origins in the northern and eastern parts of Scotland. Early records suggest the Pictish people consumed it as a restorative tonic for its perceived medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid, according to the brand. Like the rest of The House of Botanicals’ products, the bottle, cap and label for Nocino are 100% recyclable. A total of 800 bottles of Nocino have been released in 2019 with larger batches expected in later years. The new expression will be joined by a peach fortified wine, a barrel-aged coffee bean spirit and a vermouth in 2020. Nocino will launch in Italy soon and is now available online at The House of Botanicals, with select UK retailers to follow. It is priced at £25 (US$33.40) per 700ml bottle.