Telling about Teo Musso is easy. His ideas, as innovative as they may be, have all been translated into something tangible: the Baladin products that he has created. Let’s take Beermouth, for instance: if you have never tried it, just think of the stunning opulence of a Xyauyù, amplify it with a mix of 13 botanicals extracted in an extremely innovative way, and combine it with a lively and sharp body that makes it easier to drink. This product has pushed the boundary once again: it’s something that did not exist and is here today. We have talked about it with Teo.
Teo, what is your relationship with Vermouth?
Being from Piedmont, it’s a product I love. Vermouth on ice is a very nice aperitif, but I particularly enjoy it after dinner. I like classic versions: a Carpano Antica Formula brings a tear to my eye every time.
Where does the idea of Beermouth by Baladin come from?
The product was created two years ago. We were working on Xyauyù, an oxidized beer that is perfectly suited to be transformed into an interpretation of a vermouth or a bitter, an amaro. The final push came when we met Dennis Zoppi. It was quite amazing: that night, he was transforming our Baladin Metodo Classico beer into a beer cocktail. We decided to work together, involving his friend Giacomo Donadio, to give a new interpretation to the concept of vermouth and create an entirely new product.
When did you come up with the name?
Immediately! And it excited us immensely.
It is a concentrate of innovation, including the extraction techniques. What happened in the laboratory during its creation?
First of all, the laboratory did not even exist, we set it up in just a few months. Then we started our experiments: we tried the classic hydroalcoholic extraction method, using infusion, and then moved on to new techniques, such as ultrasounds and low-temperature vacuum distillation. Our goal was to preserve the fragrance of each individual botanical. They were very intense weeks, sometimes we worked through the night, we were so involved in our project.
And so here is Beermouth by Baladin. What does it mean for you?
Every time I pour some, I travel back in time. I go back to the tastes and scents of when I was a young boy, to New Year’s celebrations at home with friends. We have created a brand new product, but its tastes are unmistakably old. And I just love it!
It took some courage to touch such an iconic beer like Xyauyù.
Making Xyauyù better is impossible. But I would never drink a Xyauyù as an aperitif, and I would certainly never put ice in it. Beermouth is something else, although it’s 89% beer. The balancing act that combines bitterness and flowers makes for a truly unique drink.
A “couch beer” has become a spirit. The alcohol content is higher and the aromas are richer, but it remains a playful, fun drink.
It’s perfect for mixology..
It has a very unique, special elegance and freshness. It can be complex and simple at the same time. With tonic water, as a Beermouth and tonic, it becomes an irresistible aperitif drink. I started to work on tonic waters to obtain the perfect pair. I was looking for a tonic water that was somehow connected to our territory.
Is this the beginning of Tonica al fieno Baladin?
Yes. One evening, I had a sort of eureka moment while I was walking by a fallow field in the valley, in the vicinity of the brewery. I smelt that unmistakable scent and I thought I wanted to get all those mountain herbs, dry them and then extract their scents for a tonic water. The result was extremely interesting and peculiar: it’s as if you’re drinking a tonic water while lying in a barn. Perfect to mix with Beermouth.
Can you tell us an anecdote?
I have a funny memory of the project development phase. We were so caught up in the project, we spent night after night on in for about twenty days, working tirelessly. In this delirious state, we came up with a silly song on the name of the supplier of some of the spices, a certain Breseghello. For days on end, we repeatedly sang his surname, “Breseghello, Breseghello”, as if he were an idol of ours. A side effect of the distillation, surely.
Let’s take a look at the future. What should we expect?
We are working on a ready to drink product made with Beermouth and our hay tonic water. It would close the circle and it would be a great way to give everyone an intriguing product that you can just open and drink.