Thursday, 9 July 2015

Booze Traveller Jack Maxwell's Top 10 Drinks From Around The World

Last week I told you about Jack Maxwell's new TV series Booze Traveler, which began airing on the UK's Travel Channel on Thursday 2nd July at 10pm.

I hope you all watched the first episode (it was about Iceland and there were VIKING DRINKS!) but in case any of you are looking for more reasons to tune in, Jack has sent us his top 10 weird and wonderful drinks from around the world.

Here they are, in his words:

Travelling around the world has certainly tested my taste-buds! My favourites change depending on how I feel, but these are 10 of the best drinks I've tried: 

1. Genghis Khan Vodka. It's filtered 50 times through black pearls and diamonds and paired with the water whilst mixing to a soundtrack of Mongolian classical music.

2. Hot buttered rum went down very smoothly on a chilly day in Austria, to top it off it was in a bar called Dean Martin's which made me feel right at home!

3. The whiskey from Suntory in Japan. Oddly, Japan has won best whiskey in the world on multiple years now - it's like a guy from Scotland winning best sushi maker!

4. Spanish Ratafia. This fruit-based liqueur takes forever to make, but was made when people got married to ratify their wedding. What better way to seal a marriage with a toast to the future!

5. In Turkey the national drink is Raki. It’s very strange - this clear liquid is mixed 50/50 with water, but when you combine them it becomes very cloudy! It's because the anise oils emulsify in the drink.

6. Birkir in Iceland is an alcohol made from the sap of the birch tree, which you wouldn't think possible! However, after tapping my own tree and watching the water drip from the birch, and then seeing it being boiled down to sap to make this unique beverage, it made it all the more sweeter!

The 'female' version of that is called Bjork, like the singer, which actually means birch. It's slightly sweeter, and more of a liqueur. 

7. In Belize I had a chocolate stout. We met this guy who makes everything with chocolate. He picks the cocoa beans, which were surprisingly sour, and have a gooey outside when you pick them right from the tree. They are then roasted and become kind of like coffee beans, and grinded with a little sugar. This stout easily made it into my top ten.

8. They say that the Armenian brandy Dvin is the drink that cemented the Yalta conference between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. After the war, they were so happy to have the Allies for beating the Axis powers that Stalin reportedly sent Churchill 400 bottles of this expensive Armenian brandy a year (although other people say he sent it to Roosevelt, FDR). Whichever is true, we were drinking in the history all the same!

9. A puffer fish Sake from Japan - they actually put a little of the poisonous skin fish inside the Saki!

10. I love a Pisco Sour - a drink over which both Peru that Chile fight for the discovery rights! It's so popular in Peru that the government made it into a national holiday! The cocktail is celebrated on the first Saturday of February each year.

Additional drinks

Camel Milk Vodka from Mongolia is probably one of the oddest drinks I have ever had. It is just amazing that a community can create this spirit without any of the traditional ingredients.

Trying a holy marijuana milkshake with Nepalese monks was an eye-opening experience. It's called Bhang Lassi and there were definitely positive vibes after trying it amongst the group. 

At Kareedouw in South Africa, I tried a drink called Heuning Karrie made out of honey, honeycomb and real bees - the only place in the world where they produce it. It's made using a special root that can be found in the bush. Overdo it and it will paralyse you!

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