Roberto Artusio is the co-owner and bartender at La Punta Expendio de Agave in Rome. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Tequila and Chocolate Bitters and the second with Mezcal and Wine Syrup.
Roberto introduce yourself
I am Roberto Artusio from Torino in Italy and I started to work in this industry when I was fourteen at my uncles restaurant. I fell in love with cocktails, when I worked with a head bartender in the Aosta Valley in the mountains of northern Italy. He taught me so much and after I worked with him I moved to various cocktail bars around Europe, from Denmark to Spain. I travelled to the US a lot and moved to London for a while to learn more about cocktails, until I moved back to Rome and started the Jerry Thomas Project with my partners. My first passion is travel, so I visited a lot of distilleries and that’s when I fell for agave spirits. I was asked to speak about agave at a conference in Italy and realised I wanted to learn more about this spirit. So Cristian and I bought a ticket to Mexico and stayed for many weeks. When we returned to Rome Cristian showed me a building which happened to be number 8 in the street, which is my lucky number. Straight away it felt right and I knew this building would be our bar La Punta. We wanted to share our love of mexican drinks, food, art and culture with people here. We also started the La Punta project to sell various agave spirits from small distilleries. We choose 50-80 litres from a producer and bottle it ourselves and the proceeds to go back to a local association that helps local communities and the agave producers .We now go back every year for sometimes three months at a time and now my dog Frida has a passport, she’ll be coming with us too.
The classic you want to show us
45ml Tequila Anejo
45ml Vermouth infused with Barbecued Chestnut
1 Barspoon Agave Syrup
1 dash Chocolate Bitters
1 dash of Nut Bitters
The bar you dream of
I’d create a series of pop-up La Punta bars that travel the world and promote the local agave artisans, whilst also raising money at the same time for our NGO. This way I get to travel, make cocktails using amazing agave products and help people at the same time.
What do you do in your time off
I like sports. I ski in winter and I sail and kite surf in summer. I’m also really into boxing.
The spirit you like the most
Agave spirit. I think it’s really special and I compare it to wine. It depends on the earth, the weather, the plants and the distilling process. The fact that sometimes the plant can take 20 years to mature blows my mind.
What makes a good cocktail
Balance and minimal ingredients. I don’t like it when a cocktail has too many ingredients and you cannot enjoy the flavour of the spirit.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I am from Torino, so of course I am going to say vermouth. It contains spice, bitters, wine, spirits and sugar… It’s a cocktail in itself.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
15ml Burnt Wine Syrup
60ml of Mezcal
20ml of Water
1 dash Pimento Bitters
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
Chat to Stefano in Guadalajara who works for Fortaleza. He is so passionate and knowledgable about tequila.