Looking to Update Your Bourbon? Try Nocino | Wine Enthusiast
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Ghost Story bourbon cocktail

Looking to Update Your Bourbon? Try Nocino

Courtesy David Yee, bartender, Watershed Kitchen & Bar, Columbus, OH

Many craft distilleries have tasting rooms to show off their spirits, but at Watershed Distillery in Columbus, Ohio, visitors can head to a full-service bar to select cocktails from an innovative menu made over with a new theme each season. After a humorous IKEA-themed drink menu, the latest has a “survival” motif, featuring drinks that hint at camping, hiking and other outdoorsy pursuits. A portion of the proceeds benefits a local parks organization.

The Ghost Story, of course, refers to tales told around the campfire. “It’s a spiced but refreshing cocktail,” says bartender David Yee. “The warm notes from the Bourbon play well with the subtle sweetness of the nocino.” The end result is “an approachable, all-season cocktail.”

Get to know Nocino 

This Italian liqueur, pronounced no-CHEE-no, is typically made with green walnuts. It’s a deep-hued, nutty sipper with a tinge of natural bitterness. Check out the Spirit Buying Guide for recommendations.

The Ghost Story Cocktail


1 ounce Bourbon
1¼ ounces nocino
¼ ounce lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon peel


In cocktail shaker, combine first four ingredients with ice. Shake well, then strain into rocks glass over large ice cube. Twist lemon peel over drink to express oils, then drop in glass or discard.

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