Viva Agave! Meet Roberto Artusio and Cristian Bugiada, co-founders of the projects La Punta Expendio de Agave and Maria Sabina in Rome

In the runup to 2nd Viva Agave festival from 20 – 25 March, 2019, we continue with our interview series featuring some of the people behind the brands and the bars involved in spreading the agave gospel throughout our capital. This week, meet….

Roberto Artusio and Cristian Bugiada of co-founders of the projects La Punta Expendio de Agave and Maria Sabina in Rome

Describe your roles in the world of Agave?

Roberto Artusio is the owner of Jerry Thomas Speakeasy and Cristian Bugiada is a partner of Freni e Frizioni. We are co-founders of the projects La Punta Expendio de Agave and Maria Sabina in Rome. From 2014, we started a research project focused on Mezcal and all the Agave spirits in Mexico to find their essence and share our knowledge in Italy, our country and our first market. Our goal is promoting the category and opening new sustainable markets in Europe. For that reason, in April 2018 CRM (CONSECO REGULATOR DE MEZCAL) officially declared both of us “Mezcal Ambassadors.”

What is your favorite agave spirit?

We don’t really have a favorite one, because they are unique spirits with very different peculiarities and we have enjoyed all of them, during our amazing five years spent in Mexico, with the same curiosity and taste.

Where is your favorite place to drink it?

For sure, one of the best places to drink these spirits is the place where they born, so the distillery or the palenque, surrounded by local people, maestros and friends.

What is your favorite cocktail with it?

We think that the best way to enjoy a spirit is always neat, but if we need to mention one cocktail we would love to share something from a moment in Tequila town in a small bar called ”La Capilla” where Don Javier serves his home drink called Batanga. The recipe, it’s easy, and the taste is not only about the ingredients but about the hospitality and the experience we had there.

Thanks, Roberto and Cristian! See you at Viva Agave! You can see our other mini-interviews here. And, if you want to read more about agave, I wrote a series of agave related articles in the runup to the first agave first festival, so you can take a deeper dive into tequila, mezcal and more.

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Cocktail Expert Forest Collins is the creator of 52martinis, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris and other small batch spirits news from France. We've also recently launched an app so you can keep all that bar info in your pocket!