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Discovering the first Cocktail Rubs

The only cocktails that don't need ice. Let's find out what they are and how to apply them on meat, vegetables, fish and fruit, before cooking.

In the first part of the interview with Mauro Schiavo, the founder of BUGIN, we had begun to discover the Cocktail Rubs, launched during the summer of 2022. Mauro, what prompted you to create them?

We wanted to combine our passion for mixology, good cooking and barbecue, bearing in mind that they are a mix of salt, spices and herbs that can be used to flavor not only meat: we have also studied them for fish, vegetables, fruit and everything you want to cook on the barbecue, on the grill, in the oven or in a pan.

In the first part you told us that BUGIN's Cocktail Rubs are handmade and free from dyes or preservatives. But how are they used?

We're continually creating how-to videos because we realize that, for those who aren't already passionate about barbecuing, rubs are not that well known. They are actually a type of product that we consider very interesting due to their flexibility in the kitchen and the ease with which they can be used to make a recipe special.

Simply open the pouch and place them on the delicacy you want to cook to begin the dry marinade.

Is dry marinating with Cocktail Rub an alternative to vacuum marinating with gin?

Yes, they are two alternative techniques. They take different times and also lead to different results.

So how to make the two marinades?

For the marinade with gin, we recommend vacuum-sealing the cut of meat for a few hours, perhaps together with a clove of garlic and a sprig of rosemary, even if the vacuum is not essential.

For the one with rubs, we suggest the use of the BUGIN Shaker Rub which we have created with a dispenser with holes of different sizes, so as to be able to "shake" the rub and get it out with homogeneity and comfort. Then just massage the meat with the rub, delicately, and put it in every part of it.

How did you come up with the Cocktail Rub recipe?

To create our three Cocktail Rubs we started right from the BUGIN gin botanicals, also thanks to the precious and exciting comparison with Bbq Lab, based in Arosio, near Como Lake, and with Marco Savona, founder of James 1599. We wanted to work together and the creation of the Cocktail Rubs was also a great challenge because we traveled together.

In each rub there are, in addition to the BUGIN gin botanicals, various herbs and spices that recall the three most iconic cocktails in the world: Negroni, Martini Cocktail and Gin Tonic.

While the duration of dry marinating with Cocktail Rubs varies according to what?

To the size and type of cut. Leaving aside fish, vegetables or fruit, let's focus now on meat. The larger the size of the cut, the more time the rub has to rest on the meat to be cooked and the amount to add.

For example, fifteen minutes is enough for burgers and fine steaks. On pork ribs we recommend at least two hours.

And what are the differences between the three BUGIN Cocktail Rubs?

With the "Gin Tonic" rub, I wanted to rediscover the characteristic elegance of the most popular cocktail in the world: it is a bittering and citrusy rub, with which one cannot be confused. Just smell it to immediately understand that it is him.

The "Negroni" rub has a different soul when it is raw or cooked. In the first case, it releases the bittering notes of the Negroni. When cooked, it knows how to amaze with a very delicate sweet note. We recommend it for example on pork and stews.

The "Martini Cocktail" rub is delicate and, at the same time, thanks to the Timut pepper, releases an interesting full peppery note. In my opinion it is super with fish, white meats, vegetables and grilled fruit. One day we tried it with shrimp, bacon and orange skewers: we were speechless for a few minutes.

Can we say that Cocktail Rubs leave a lot of room for the creativity of those who use them?

We believe so much in this concept in the world of barbecue and cooking. I see their use as an occasion for conviviality and fun, both for those who love meat and for those who prefer vegetarian cuisine, always with attention to the highest quality raw materials that characterize the BUGIN project.

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