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BUGIN, the bridge that connects distant worlds

Let's enter the world of BUGIN with Mauro Schiavo, the creator of the first gin born for combinations with cuts of meat, cured cuts massaged with gin and Cocktail Rubs.

How did the idea of ​​a gin for cuts of meat come about?

We launched BUGIN gin in 2019, after decades of experience in mixology and butchery, and after several years of ideas and attempts to create the recipe that satisfied us.

I wanted to combine two paths that I had followed: that of the barman and that of the butcher in the family butcher shops, a few steps from Turin, in Piedmont.

At TASTA, our butcher shop with kitchen, in San Mauro Torinese, I have been organizing tasting evenings for some years where customers could taste our finest cuts of meat, once marinated and cooked by us.

From there the desire to seek out certain flavors with a dedicated gin?

Yes, the BUGIN project was born from that desire. With my recipe I have chosen nine botanicals, collected in the Piedmontese Alps and hills, which are combined with those commonly used in the kitchen when cooking meat. The only thing in common is thyme. And this complementarity is enhanced both in meal cocktails and in marinades, an area where our gin is strong.

Are gin cured meats born later?

At the same moment. We already had a line of salamis and cured meats that followed the Piedmontese tradition and, in particular, that of my grandfather Beppe who, on his farm, had a small production of artisanal cured meats that we all remember with emotion and... mouth watering!

But in what sense "cured meats massaged with gin"?

What makes them a bridge between food and mixology is the way we produce them.

First of all, we only use top quality Piedmontese pigs, which makes them excellent cured meats beyond the gin. We make each of the eight gin cured meats differently, depending on what we want to achieve. In some you feel the taste of gin more, in others the gin gives roundness and delicacy. The theme is not "eating gin" but allowing it to harmoniously enhance the cured meat.

What are the differences?

In sausages such as cooked salami and raw salami, we insert the gin BUGIN inside the dough.

While in cured meats such as Lonzino or Nocetta, we use it at the beginning of processing, then during salting and flavouring, and we massage the cuts of meat with gin for two cycles of fifteen days each, before hanging the cured meats and let them mature.

How long does the seasoning last?

It varies according to the type of cured meat. The Coppa, after being massaged with gin and stuffed into natural casings, is aged for four months. Raw salami matures from fifteen to thirty days. The other cured meats for at least three months.

And then you created the Cocktail Rubs, presenting them as a bridge between the worlds of mixology, cooking and barbecue. What is their peculiarity?

We are excited about it. Rubs are a mix of salt, spices and herbs. Ours are handcrafted and are free of preservatives or dyes. We called them "Cocktail Rubs" because they are the first and only rubs that allow you to rediscover the taste and aroma of the three most iconic cocktails in the world: Gin Tonic, Martini Cocktail and Negroni.

To find out how to use them, look at the photos and videos on the dedicated page. Alternatively, you can read the second part of the interview.

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