My digital diary about Modena

by Stefania Fregni

Welcome to my blog about my beautiful city :) Follow the diary, I'll bring you ti discover Modena.

Posts for Collaborations Category

When Nocino becomes a cocktail thanks to the Nocino Cocktail Experience of Toschi

Collaborations, Food & Drink - Stefania Fregni - December 15, 2022

Nocino Cocktail Experience Toschi

What if I told you that Nocino can become a special ingredient for creating excellent cocktails ready to be poured and enjoyed in company?
If you think that our beloved Nocino is just “after dinner” stuff, this article will turn your ideas upside down.

Ready to change your way of seeing this traditional liqueur?

Nocino: the digestive of the Modena tradition

If you don’t know Nocino, let me take a step back.
One of Modena’s many excellences, Nocino is the traditional digestif, an ancient liqueur obtained from the infusion of walnuts.

Although it is found all over Europe, in Modena it has become a specialty protected and promoted by the Order of Nocino Modenese.
The ingredients at the base of its preparation are: alcohol at 95 degrees, sugar, walnuts, cloves and cinnamon (optional and in small doses).
Being a home-made preparation, there are many recipes for Nocino (the original, however, is kept by the Order).

Tradition has it that walnuts must always be in an odd number, harvested locally, on the night of St. John, June 24th.
Yes, because an aura of legend remains in its preparation, which tells of witches and spells and which has been transmitted from generation to generation in the family preparation of this liqueur.

The walnuts are harvested while still immature and provided with the “husk”, the pulp or fibrous mass that surrounds the fruit, cut into 4 and closed together with the sugar in a glass container, to be kept in an area partially exposed to the sun, stirring occasionally and adding alcohol and any flavorings.

Only after 2 months can the contents be filtered and bottled, strictly in dark glass, or in small wooden casks.

Stored for at least 12 months, Nocino will take on a bright brown color, with a predominant aroma and flavor of walnut, moderate density and sweetness and a balanced alcohol content.

Nocino is usually consumed after a meal, as a digestive, at the end of the most typical dinners.

But this is where the beauty comes in…

From digestive to cocktail

I love drinking nocino and in all honesty I have always been a traditionalist, consuming it at the end of a meal…. until I tried it in a cocktail!
To be precise, until I got to know the reality of Toschi more closely, one of the historic companies in the Modena area, to which I dedicated an article: “Toschi Vignola: cherries but not only!”, which I recommend you go read.

Among the various excellences, Toschi also produces Nocino, which aged at least 2 years, follows and respects the production regulations of the “Tradizione e Sapori di Modena” brand.

Obviously Toschi offers his Nocino di Modena in the more classic version but he had the intuition to think that our traditional liqueur could also become a perfect ingredient for daring cocktails by proposing the Nocino Cocktail Experience, which was presented just recently on the market.

The challenge is to be able to make more people appreciate this product of our tradition by presenting it in a totally different moment of consumption and thus opening up its knowledge to younger generations and to people who do not necessarily live in the Modena area.

The goal is to get the Nocino out of our borders to enhance its enormous qualities.

But once again that’s not all…

Nocino Cocktail Experience: what does it consist of?

The Nocino Cocktail Experience is a box that contains a 50 cl bottle of Nocino di Modena Toschi and 2 “ready to serve” packs of NIO Cocktails based on Nocino.

Nocino Cocktail Experience Toschi_cofanetto

So, Nocino-based cocktails yes, but ready to pour into a glass with ice.

If you don’t know NIO Cocktails, I’ll explain immediately what they are.

Patrick Pistolesi’s idea of ​​packaging all types of cocktails in “practical formats, beautiful to look at and good to taste, as if they just came out of the shaker” was born to bring each of us, even the less experienced, to experience the “Cocktail Experience ” exceptional in your own home.

Not all of us are expert barmen and approaching the art of Mixology is by no means immediate.
Thus, thanks to NIO Cocktails, a glass and a little ice is enough!


Together with Toschi, therefore, NIO Cocktails meets the great Italian tradition of the Nocino di Modena in 2 exclusive proposals: the Nocino Downtown and the Into the Wild.

I bet I’m intriguing you, right?

The 2 Nocino-based cocktails of the Nocino Cocktail Experience

Nocino Downtown is an interpretation of the classic and timeless Old Fashioned, where Bourbon Bulleit marries with the warm and enveloping notes of Nocino of Modena Toschi. The addition of Vermouth di Torino Cocchi makes the cocktail perfectly balanced and enriches it with spicy and vanilla notes.

The result is an “old-fashioned” cocktail, for sophisticated palates who know how to appreciate the strong taste of whiskey and things done well as they once were.

Ingredients: Nocino of Modena Toschi | Bourbon Bulleit | Coconuts Vermout | Angostura | Waterfall

Into the Wild is, on the other hand, a perfect cocktail to be enjoyed both before and after dinner.

The warm and enveloping soul of the Nocino rises in this cocktail with the robust herbaceous notes of the DOM Benedictine, a unique and refined liqueur, which owes its particularity to the infusion of 27 different herbs and spices in the brandy and aged in oak barrels. The skilful balance with Vermouth Bianco Cocchi makes it refreshing but at the same time meditative, perfect for refined aperitifs but also for an after-dinner in front of the fireplace.

Ingredients: Nocino of Modena Toschi | Dom Benedictine Liquor | Americano White Coconuts | Citric Acid | Toschi Liquid Sugar | Waterfall

Serving both drinks is very simple and you can find instructions on each package.
Just shake, tear off the corner of the package and pour over ice in a tumbler glass.

If you want to try this incredible Nocino di Modena-based tasting experience, you can find the box in the best supermarkets.
To do but also to give at Christmas!

What struck me about this idea is the practicality and the possibility of really enjoying excellent Nocino-based cocktails without having to prepare anything.
Nocino is a liqueur that I love and finding it in this version pleasantly surprised me.

I recommend it (but always drink responsibly, please)!

Nocino Cocktail Experience Toschi_natale

A toast to the Holidays!


In collaboration with Toschi Vignola

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Toschi Vignola: not only cherries

Collaborations, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - December 15, 2022

toschi vignola specchio vintage

If I say “Toschi” what comes to your mind?
If you are from Modena like me it is very probable that the first image you associate with the name “Toschi” is a red and tasty cherry, isn’t t?
Right but not too much!

In the last period I had the opportunity to to know this reality thanks to a visit to their factories and I discovered that in addition to the excellent cherries there is more, much more.

I’ll tell you everything immediately 😊

Before starting, however, let me give you a little introduction.

I have always heard of the Toschi company but it was only when I started writing my guide about Modena that I deepened my research by documenting myself in detail.

And it was precisely then that I discovered that behind this brand with a long tradition there is literally a “world of taste”.

Yes, because cherries in alcohol were just the beginning of this long story!

Toschi Vignola: where the tradition of fruit preserved in alcohol and in syrup was born

We are in Vignola, in the heart of the land of cherries, about 25 km from Modena. Important historical characters were born here, such as Jacopo Barozzi, known as Vignola, and Ludovico Antonio Muratori, and the beautiful medieval fortress is always on display in this beautiful town.

If you come to these parts in spring it is impossible not to be enchanted by the spectacle of the cherry blossoms.

In these lands, infact, cherries, fruits of the Italian tradition, are born from the work of several hundred producers united in the Consortium of Typical Vignola Cherries.

ciliegie spiritose toschiThus in 1945, the year the company was founded, the famous Ciliegia di Vignola became “Spiritosa” thanks to the idea of ​​Giancarlo and Lanfranco Toschi to preserve and package this fruit to be enjoyed all year round.

In the presence of a particularly abundant year, the two brothers had a brilliant intuition: to start producing industrially what until then had always been a family tradition.

Thus Toschi was born with the first product of a long series known today everywhere with the name of fruit in alcohol.

A beautiful story isn’t it?
And the company is still pervaded by it!

This can be perceived by the fascinating vintage prints hanging on the walls, by the old machinery scattered throughout the factory and by the unique examples of gift boxes, miniature Ferraris of the past, jealously guarded in the offices of the founders.

toschi vignola imbottigliatrice vintage

But it was around the 1960s that some of today’s other leading products began to be produced, such as: syrups and black cherry fruit, Cherry brandy (morette liqueur) and Nocino.

I’m quite sure you can know these… right? 👇🏻

toschi frut

Black cherries are sweet fruits with a slightly sour aftertaste, which tickle the palate with their unmistakable and fresh flavour.

Among the most representative products of the Toschi company, today as in the past only the best cherries are carefully selected, pitted and candied to garnish desserts, cakes and frozen desserts or to enrich ice cream!

I guarantee you that watching part of this production process was exciting!
What a desire to eat them all…

toschi amarene processo lavorazione

The Nocino of Modena Toschi

Product of the Modenese tradition, Nocino of Modena Toschi is born from the infusion of Italian walnut hull rigorously harvested on June 24, as tradition dictates, when the fruit is not fully ripe and the husk is still green and tender.

The original recipe for Nocino of Modena is made up of just 5 simple ingredients: husk, alcohol, sugar, cinnamon and cloves.

After a 9-month infusion together with the spices, the husks are pressed to extract their essence. A portion of sugar and water is then added to this infusion to obtain the alcohol content and the characteristic roundness of taste.

Produced without dyes and aged for at least 2 years, Toschi Nocino di Modena follows and complies with the production regulations of the “Tradizione e Sapori di Modena” brand, which I had already told you about in the article I dedicated to Modena’s excellence.

During my visit to the plant they were actually bottling this product and seeing the production of such an excellence always has a certain charm!

Toschi produces 2 versions of Nocino: the Classico and the Riserva, aged over 5 years.

Finding yourself face to face with these wooden giants who guard this precious nectar must be immortalized because it is not an every day experience! 😉

nocino riserva toschi

Toschi Balsamic Vinegar

And if we talk about excellence and traditions, the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP and Traditional DOP certainly cannot be missing!

aceto balsamico IGP Toschi

Gino Toschi IGP Balsamic Vinegars of Modena are the result of skilfull processing in compliance with the production regulations with the know-how of a historic vinegar factory made up of small secrets and ancient gestures.

A slight variation in the percentage of cooked must or in the length of aging creates more or less dense vinegars with different nuances of taste.


Every time I find myself strolling through the rooms of the Balsamic Vinegar aging barrels I am inebriated by the scents and fascinated by the batteries, especially those of the DOP, witnesses of a unique tradition in the world and of an incredible workmanship that tastes home.

Each reality that produces Balsamic Vinegar offers its own show because it preserves its own stories and memories, handed down from generation to generation.

Do you know that tradition has it that when a new born arrives in the family, a battery of barrels is started in his honor with his name?

And it is only after 12 years of unconditional love and dedication that Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is obtained, while you have to wait 25 to extract the Extra Vecchio.

So after this pleasant visit to Toschi, I was able to see first-hand how long and rich the road traveled by this company since 1945 has been.

The products offered today are varied: ranging from the classic ones, which include fruit in alcohol, fruit liqueurs and syrups, to those designed for ice cream, sour cherries and various garnishes, up to Nocino and Balsamic Vinegar .

A world of taste as I told you, rightly so, at the beginning of this story 😊
A world to discover and savor specialty after specialty.

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A dive into the gastronomic tradition of our territory with Bottega Portici, the new Emilian casual food format

Collaborations, My Travels in Emilia - Stefania Fregni - July 30, 2018

Fresh pasta is a precious good, a tradition deeply rooted in our territory. It represents an art, the one of know-how but above all the one of the good life that characterizes our Emilia.
So, when projects that celebrate and export this way of being born, I am sincerely happy to support them. Recently I was guest at Bottega Portici, a new format of casual food that originates in Emilia-Romagna, that proposes quality and traditional food at the right price. Here, I tell you better what it is and I how was my experience.

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Discovering Modena: a day around Castelvetro, Levizzano and Puianello

Collaborations, Outdoor trips in Modena, Stories of Modena, Video - Stefania Fregni - February 8, 2018

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
[Marcel Proust]

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5 shades of Modena: a tour of Modena to discover 5 different experiences

Collaborations, My personal lists, Suggested Tours - Stefania Fregni - January 23, 2018

Have you ever wondered what character has your city?  Do you think it is possible to identify its different distinctive features? I think it is.
I’ve always thought that cities, like humans, had a different character that could be captured in certain places and doing certain experiences.
So, in order to organize a tour of Modena made of 5 stops, I’ve tried to think about my city as a real person, whose character is composed of different personalities. Then, I tell you of 5 shades of Modena, 5 experiences that I had having a tour on my territory accompanied by the new T-Roc, in collaboration with Volkswagen MPS Car Modena. 

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MYMENU: a certainty for the home meal delivery service in Modena

Collaborations, Modena just a click away - Stefania Fregni - December 5, 2017


As I told before several times, I go crazy for digital services, Apps or websites, that can improve our daily life and make us experience new things. So, when I find a new one in the city, I try it immediately and, if I like, it I write about it!
I even also dedicated to this theme a category of the blog, “Modena just a click away”, because I hope that services that can help us to live our cities in a better way can become more and more numerous. After all, how it is practical to pay for parking from our smartphone or wait comfortably at home for our favorite food or shopping ?! 😉
Some time ago I discovered MYMENU, the home meal delivery service that gives us the opportunity to taste comfortably some of our favorite dishes directly at home (or in our office), as if you were at the restaurant. I tell you now my experience.

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Sai che esiste un "monopoly" di Modena?
Si chiama A Tal Dég e io sono una delle autrici!

A Tal Dég

Modena da Giocare

Scopri Modena insieme a me!

Si chiama Modena Like Me ed è la guida cartacea edita da Do It Human Editore in cui ho raccolto i miei consigli, i miei suggerimenti, le mie dritte, alcune foto e molto altro ancora per farti vivere la città da un punto di vista privilegiato, quello di chi la conosce e la vive!