A five-part global journey to create the ultimate drinks list

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Five countries, two months – one ultimate drinks list. In 2016, we embarked on a mission to create the world’s best drinks, inspired by some of the most exciting cities. But first, we had to find someone to lead it...

The host

As far as dream jobs go, one that involves eating and drinking your way around the world is right up there with roller coaster tester, panda wrangler or rock star. So you can imagine that getting to travel across five countries to create the ultimate drinks list would come with some stiff competition.

After an audition, interview and surprise final challenge to get through, our host, 28-year-old Carey Watkins, was eventually chosen from hundreds of entries to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. With a passion for food, drink and travel, but absolutely no experience in bartending, he was the perfect person to learn from the best bartenders in the world – even if he’d convinced himself he hadn’t got the job. ‘[When I found out], I was just really overwhelmed,’ says Carey. ‘I’m pretty sure I cried!’ [Ed: we can confirm he did – check out the start of episode one to see for yourself!]

Having recently moved from Melbourne to Los Angeles, Carey’s no stranger to being uprooted, but the enormity of what he was embarking on took some time to sink in. ‘I definitely didn’t comprehend the fact that I was about to travel around the world for six weeks,’ he says. ‘By no means [did I realise] just how good this job was. The whole thing was incredible, and I got to do things I would never normally do.’

With so many memories to choose from, Carey says it was hard to find a favourite, although there were a few standouts. ‘[The trip] very quickly became unbelievable, and nine times out of ten I was doing something I hadn’t done before – and would never have done,’ he says.

‘I do love to travel, but more than anything I love to meet people, to talk to people and form relationships,’ he adds. ‘To combine [that with] travelling around the world – and drinking, which is a huge plus – literally is the dream job.’

The mission

Travelling the world is a dream come true, but this adventure isn’t all about snake venom shots and spontaneous spear fishing – there’s a job to be done, and that job is to craft the ultimate drinks list.

On his mission, Carey explores each city – steps off the well-trodden tourist path and gets to know the places the locals recommended – guided by our World Class bartenders. Whether taking a seaplane to a Sydney restaurant or wandering the aromatic tea plantations of Taipei, each city experience has culminated in a drink that represents the city.

‘I was truly blown away by all five of those drinks – everything from the colours to the sensations to the smells to the taste – they were unbelievably good,’ says Carey.

Two months. Five Countries. The world’s best bartenders. The ultimate drinks list. Join Carey’s adventure, and check out our recipes and bartender city tips below.


Watch the series

Follow Carey on his journey to uncover the most exciting city secrets – and the world’s best drinks.