by Il Mallo
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The best place for nocino is Modena, and the best Nocino there is made by Il Mallo. (‘Mallo’ means ‘husk.’) Their nocino is made by harvesting plump green walnuts, traditionally in June around the feast day of St. John the Baptist, slicing them thinly, then macerating them for about a year in almost pure alcohol. The walnuts are then drained, pressed off, and blended with a separate infusion of clove, coriander, true cinnamon, and sugar. After another 9 months of aging it is bottled. As with any of these liqueurs that predominantly are made of a single ingredient, the quality of that ingredient is very important, and Roberta and her mother Giovanna have longstanding relationships with the farmers who grow the walnuts, some near their home in Emilia and some in Campania, around Avellino.