Argalà is the project of two childhood friends from Boves in Piedmont, Enrico and Piero, who have long shared a passion for artisan drinks.
For many years the two of them experimented, tasted and played around with producing spirits in a spare room in the home of Piero’s grandmother and in 2011 they sold their first Pastis.
They make spirits that give a nod to the wonderful ritual of aperitivo and are very much rooted in the Maritime Alps they call home. The alps sit somewhere between Piedmont and Provence and enjoy a unique microclimate influenced by both the Mediterranean and the mountains. The wild botanicals found here provide the foundation for their thrillingly unique drinks.
The use of great ingredients is paramount, the process slow. They are proud to work in a way very much rooted in the ‘homemade’ approach from which they begun and wish to continue like this.
In their dialect ‘Argalà’ means to be sate, to be content. It is a name which could not be more fitting for spirits as satisfying as these.
Argalà, Bitter Aperitivo
A drink born from a day the two spent hiking in the Besimauda mountains. Ever inquisitive, the two had been tasting alpine flowers and after a particularly bitter nibble of gentian, sort refuge in a bottle of hibiscus tea they had made. The combination was incredible and the result of their exploration that day is this fantastic aperitif. It’s a roughly a 50:50 blend of hibiscus and sugar steeped in alcohol, along with a separate infusion of gentian, orange peel, licorice, wild fennel, rosemary, croton & ginger. This has everything we look for in an aperitif. It’s a little sour, bitter, sweet and spiced and is incredible on the rocks, with a little soda and orange, or with their gin and a little red vermouth as an Alpine Negroni.
A pastis unlike any we have tried. Star anise and licorice provide the foundation, along with wild fennel, thyme, lemon balm and rosemary picked from the surrounding hills. It’s finished with a fistful of spices, including cardamon, cinnamon and Himalayan long pepper, which add boundless complexity. We’ll be drinking this, as per tradition, over ice with one part Pastis and five parts water, all summer long.
Argalà, Gin al Genepy
The thought of bringing a gin from Italy to London did seem a little strange at first but after tasting this we had little choice. This is a gin with a real sense of place. Fresh, vertical and lifted, it just seems to speak of the alps. Beyond juniper the focus is on the gentle aromas of genepy, backed up by elderberries, pine needles, acacia flowers, vanilla, apricot kernels, coriander and caraway seeds and some cubeb berries. It is a delicate, nuanced and decidedly different gin and we can’t wait to share it with you.