It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it.
A new travel series, World Class List, follows the adventures of aspiring musician and drinks enthusiast Carey Watkins, 27, as he journeys to some of the world’s most dynamic cities where he is guided by the world’s best bartenders to learn about each city’s cocktail culture and to curate his ultimate drinks list.
The series champions the rise of global cocktail culture and seeks to inspire people to drink better and create unforgettable experiences in the process and is created by World Class, the organisers of the world’s biggest bartending competition. World Class is an initiative created by leading spirits company Diageo, the makers of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, Tanqueray no. TEN Gin and Ketel One Vodka amongst others.
Carey, who lives in LA, was selected from hundreds to become the host of the new travel series, to be released on Amazon Prime in selected markets from next week and available to watch now on MakeItWorldClass.com/List.
During the five-part series, Carey explores the best of what to see, do, eat and drink in five of the world’s most exciting cities – Sydney, Taipei, Barcelona, San Francisco and Mexico. Led on his journey by the world’s best bartenders, the result is a travel series with a twist – and the creation of the ultimate drinks list.
The five renowned World Class bartenders share their inside knowledge of their city and passion for better drinking and the craft of bartending with Carey, presenting their cocktail inspired by their experiences to feature on the World Class List.
2012 World Class Bartender of the Year Tim Philips of Australia appears on the show, as well as four national champions from the World Class Bartender of the Year 2016 Global Final: Andrew Meltzer of the USA, Nick Wu of Taiwan, Spanish bartender Adriana Chia and Nica Rousseau of Mexico.
Among the drinks that Carey experiences is a smooth digestif from Tim Philips made with Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky and freshly brewed coffee with notes of heather, honey and vanilla, and a brunch-time alternative to the Bloody Mary using Ketel One Vodka, carrot juice and notes of fennel from Andrew Meltzer.
In his search, Carey experiences some unforgettable moments, including an energetic introduction to Mexican wrestling, spearfishing his own seafood to pair with Tanqueray gin and grapefruit in Sydney and celebrating New Year’s Eve drinking cocktails under fireworks on a boat in San Francisco Bay.
World Class Global Director Johanna Dalley said: “We’re delighted to launch our new digital travel series which celebrates incredible bartender talent around the world. World Class List is a reflection of the growing demand by inquisitive consumers eager to step up their drinking and move with the trend of rising cocktail culture. Carey’s journey is that of the viewer – learning more about drinking culture around the world at the same time as picking up some really simple tips on how to make great cocktails himself. We want to inspire consumers to get out into the industry and try the amazing drinks on offer in bars all over the world, or to up their game and have a go at making them at home.”
Carey Watkins said: “When I found out I’d be the host, I was just really overwhelmed. I definitely didn’t comprehend the fact that I was about to travel around the world for six weeks, and 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.
“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. I do love to travel, but more than anything I love to meet people, to talk to people and form relationships. To combine that with travelling around the world – and learning how these bartenders hone their craft while tasting their unbelievable drinks – literally is the dream job .I was truly blown away by all five of those drinks – everything from the colours, to the smells, to the taste – they were unbelievably good.”
Click here to view the World Class List trailer
‘THE ULTIMATE DRINKS’ FROM WORLD CLASS LIST
Created by Tim Philips @ Bulletin Place, Sydney, Australia
“The Dead End summarises everything that makes Sydney special – from the smoky taste of hazy summer nights to a coffee kick, pulled together with local ingredients. If an Espresso Martini is your drink of choice, or a twist on the Old Fashioned takes your fancy, this is the drink for you.”
20ml Artificer cold brew coffee
20ml Regal Rogue Rosso Vermouth
20ml Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Scotch Whisky
5ml vanilla cardamom syrup
5ml Italian aperitif
Grapefruit peel to garnish
1. Add the cold brew coffee, vermouth, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Scotch Whisky, vanilla cardamom syrup and Italian aperitif to an ice-filled mixing glass
2. Stir to dilute and chill, and then strain into a chilled, rocks glass over a single large lump of ice
3. Garnish with a slice of fresh grapefruit peel, spritzing over the glass to release the oils.
Created by Nick Wu @ East End Bar, Taipei, Taiwan
“Taipei is an experience for all the senses, and it’s the aromatic additions that help this drink capture the spirit of the city. Taiwanese tea syrup, local honey and farm-grown marigold leaves represent the fragrance of Taipei’s countryside, and work together to create a one-of-a-kind drink.”
50ml Cîroc Vodka
20ml fresh lemon juice
25ml Tieguanyin tea syrup
5ml Taiwan honey
2 lemon-mint marigold leaves
1. Chill a coupe glass
2. Add the Cîroc Vodka, Tieguanyin tea syrup, Taiwan honey, crystal pear juice, fresh lemon juice and lemon-mint marigold leaves to a shaker (smack the leaves first to release the flavour) with ice
3. Shake until chilled and double strain into the chilled coupe glass
4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon-mint marigold leaves.
Created by Adriana Chia @ Solange, Barcelona, Spain
“From sunrise to sunset, Barcelona is an ever-changing cultural hub, and this evolving drink really captures the essence of the city. With delicate flavours of local sherry, fresh tangerine and olive oil, its changing tones make it a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.”
50ml Tanqueray no. Ten Gin
30ml Fino sherry wine
30ml chamomila syrup
15ml fresh tangerine juice
4 drops of olive oil
Saffron ice ball
1. Add the Tanqueray No. Ten gin, sherry wine, chamomila syrup, and fresh tangerine juice to a shaker with ice
2. Double strain into a coupe glass
3. Add a saffron ice ball, and top with four drops of olive oil and a few strands of saffron.
Queen Anne’s Lace
Created by Andrew Meltzer @ 15 Romolo, San Francisco, USA
“Created with San Francisco’s local produce and creative spirit in mind, Queen Anne’s Lace is an eccentric mix of ingredients inspired by Northern Californian cuisine. The clean, crisp taste and understated sweetness make this delicious drink a great brunch-time swap for a standard Bloody Mary.”
45ml Ketel One Vodka
22ml carrot juice
7.5ml lemon juice
7.5ml fennel syrup
7.5ml floral liqueur (Iris or St Germain)
Dash of absinthe
Fennel frond (or thyme sprig, edible flowers) to garnish
1. Chill a stemmed glass
2. Add the lemon juice, absinthe, fennel syrup, carrot juice, floral liqueur and Ketel One Vodka to a shaker and stir
3. Add ice, and then shake until chilled
4. Double strain into the chilled glass
5. Spritz with lemon oil from a slice of fresh peel
6. Garnish with lion peel and a fennel frond.
Created by Mica Rousseau @ Four Seasons Hotel, Mexico City
“The Hot Primavera is a complex cocktail that reflects the unique character of Mexico city perfectly. A base of tequila is mixed with an assortment of syrups, and marinated slices of fresh guava to create a flavourful nod to Mexico’s customs. And while most drinks are served over ice, the Hot Primavera bucks the trend by being served over heated stones for a comforting, warming drink.”
50ml Don Julio Reposado tequila
15ml vanilla syrup
15ml nutmeg syrup
15ml Chile ancho licor
40ml hot chamomile and rooibos tea
4 guava slices, caramelised in sugar, bitters and Don Julio Reposado
2 slices of orange peel
4 dashes of avocado leaf bitters
1. Add the Don Julio Reposado tequila, Chile ancho licor, vanilla syrup, nutmeg syrup and guava slices to an earthenware cup
2. Spritz the orange peel over the drink, and then add to the cup along with the hot chamomile and rooibos tea
3. Add hot river stones and stir to combine