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Booze Traveler’s Jack Maxwell on The Magical Powers of Alcohol

Booze Traveler’s Jack Maxwell on The Magical Powers of Alcohol

His Travel Channel show celebrates cultures through the lens of drink

Maxwell visits Greece and Sicily in season two.

When you think about it, there aren’t too many things that are universal across just about every culture on earth. There’s the smile, there’s the need for food and shelter… and there’s the quest to take the edge off after a hard days’ work. Jack Maxwell is the host of Booze Traveler, which just returned for its second season on Travel Channel (where it airs Tuesdays at 10, 9 Central), and in traveling the world on a quest to sample its finest libations, he’s discovered that the power of alcohol transcends just the desire to just catch a buzz.

“You can always think that you have an idea of what a place is like before you travel there, but when you arrive it’s always such a wonderful surprise to discover that it’s not at all what you were expecting,” Maxwell, who grew up shining shoes in the barrooms of South Boston, told us. “You find out that we have so much more in common that we think; We all love family and friends, and we all like to take the edge off. Across nearly all civilizations going back thousands of years, everyone has enjoyed drinking, and they’ve all developed their own unique drinks and customs.”

Among the unique beverages that Maxwell uncovers this season are retsina in Greece (white wine with the flavor of pine tar, Maxwell explains, because the wine vessels were historically sealed with tar to keep it from spoiling), Pisco in Peru, Koskenkorva Viina in Finland, caldo de frutas in Guatemala, and mulled wine in Patagonia. “A lot of people drink what they’re used to, what their ancestors did,” Maxwell added.

It’s clear from speaking with Maxwell that the goal of the show is to examine different cultures through the lens of what they like to imbibe, not to just show a globetrotting Maxwell drinking booze in a void. “We’re learning about people and cultures more than anything else,” he said. “It’s about drink, not drinking.”


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


ɻooze Traveler' host explores how world drinks

Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture.

"That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," "Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." "People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other."

Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

"Every society in history has come up with some form of alcohol to celebrate, to mourn, to take the edge off a long day," he said.

The series premiere, which airs Nov. 24, puts Maxwell in mostly Muslim Turkey. As the 4 p.m. call to prayer rings out in Istanbul, he jokes: "If I were back home in Boston, I'd be sitting down at the bar for happy hour."

Many Turks are teetotalers, but Maxwell takes it as a challenge to uncover the local libations. He samples raki, a powerful drink made of twice-distilled grapes flavored with anise, and harvests poppies with women who use them in a potent drink.

"We thought we'd have to find a secret speakeasy and a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy," he said. "But it was hiding in plain sight."

As he drinks his way around the world, Maxwell comes off as something of a daredevil — comparisons to bad-boy TV gourmand Anthony Bourdain are inevitable. He'd have to be fearless to stomach the more bizarre beverages he samples: vodka distilled from camel's milk in Mongolia, and "spit beer" brewed with saliva by a tribe in the Amazon jungle.

"The chief himself put his hat on me — his crown — and he taught me how to spit poison darts. They cooked piranha for me," Maxwell said. "Who am I to say no? I'm just a kid from the Southie projects."

Jaw-dropping scenery served as a backdrop for many of Maxwell's adventures. In South Africa, he awoke to zebra, impala and giraffes grazing on the sun-dappled savannah, and he says it was the perfect hangover cure.

"Sitting down and drinking with someone, I realized it's a much smaller world than what I thought," he said. "We have much more in common than we do differences."


Watch the video: Jack is treated to homemade pineapple swipe, 80-proof moonshine. Booze Traveler. Travel Channel (December 2021).