The bandit gin of Livigno
Contrabbando is Livigno's Gin which encloses the real essence of the territory, locally produced starting from the harvesting of juniper berries. Low and thorny, this tenacious plant is extremely adaptable in the high mountains, resisting winds and the weight of snow. Once ripe, the seeds of its berries release an essential oil with an intense and pungent aroma, used to make gin: the result is a wild aroma, which is perfectly balanced with alcohol, without using additional botanical elements.
The first two hundred bottles of "Contrabbando, il gin bandito"will be numbered, for the joy of passionate collectors. Clear reference to the most ancient Livigno, a glass of this gin tells the story of the incredible stories of the mountain smugglers, men who faced a treacherous journey to transport sugar, coffee and bottles of alcohol in large sacks of rough canvas, crossing the wilderness of the steepest ridges in the night, with tenacity, cunning and spirit of adaptation.
THE ART OF SMUGGLING
The memory of this rugged and wild territory tells the legendary stories of smuggling: stories and adventures of hard men who, with their backs bent under the weight of sacks, defied the law and hostile nature. Risk was their most faithful companion. They would stuff their goods into rough sacks, put on their heavy boots and set off. So as not to be discovered by the guards, they walked silently on moonless nights, along secret paths, hidden among the needles of the dwarf pines and the juniper bushes that stain the pastures.
For some it was a real job, for others a sporadic activity, and for all, it was dangerous and tiring work, made up of risks, cunning and heavy loads on the back. Smugglers crossed valleys and climbed mountains shrouded in darkness, carrying a load of coffee, sugar, cigarettes and bottles of alcohol. They knew every corner, every stone, every bush. Who knows how many juniper bushes they must have encountered on their way. In the silence of the valleys, they crossed the invisible borders drawn by man, deposited their load and then returned home, their shoulders light and a rough smile drawn on their mouth
THE JUNIPER OF LIVIGNO
The juniper (Juniperus L.), just like the contraband, is not immediately obvious: it almost seems to hide. Its low, thorny bushes are completely covered by snow, which suffocates them for long months. The juniper is special. Its thick needles sting the hands of those who try to touch it, as if to defend themselves. But it is its fruits that make it famous: commonly called berries, they actually have an almost funny name, cuddles or gàlbuli. These ripen within two years, when they take on a bluish colour. Inside them are the seeds, which are rich in an incredibly aromatic essential oil that has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine and in cooking, to flavour meats and more.
And to produce gin