What are the most interesting place for a drink around the world and why are we so keen to go? Team MoM reveals all in our boozy bucket list destinations to visit in 2023.
It’s a new year and there’s a world out there to seize, particularly as we continue to embrace normality again after a turbulent few years. We’re booze lovers, so wherever we go, it’s a priority that the location has a national spirit or thriving scene that we can dive head-first into. We’re setting our sights a little bit further afield than Scotland (although we love it so), including on some destinations that don’t always get their boozy dues this year. We’ve also included a bottle to try if you’d like to see why we’re so motivated, and don’t forget to share what’s on your bucket list.
Adam O’Connell, writer. Dream destination: Brazil
Usually, my only means of transporting myself to Brazil are by tasting the fresh, full-bodied, and fruity delights of Cachaça at home or in a bar. A good way when all else fails, no doubt, but if I could actually sit on a beach, Anthony Bourdian-style while the Caipirinha man whips me up a fresh drink and I take in what I can only conclude from all the pictures, videos, and documentaries are the most remarkable sights, then I would declare 2023 a success. You could drop me in any number of locations across Brazil and, as long I had access to Cachaça (with a traditional pairing of Feijoada, of course, or some semi-melted cheese) and a football to kick around, I would be in my element.
Bottle to try: Yaguara Cachaça Ouro
Jess Williamson, content manager. Dream destination: Sweden
I’ve always been drawn to Nordic whisky-making countries since I started working in the industry four years ago, but Sweden also has cinnamon buns, so I think I’ll start there (whisky and cinnamon buns are my two main topics of conversation). With the likes of High Coast and Mackmyra (among others!) on the Swedish whisky scene, I can imagine going on a road trip, pit-stopping at the various distilleries throughout the country. The range of releases coming out of the country encompasses a world of different flavours, from peat to classic sherry, and Swedish oak to lingonberry wine casks! I can also imagine Swedish food going particularly well with whisky, so maybe 2023 will be the year I take a gastronomic trip across Sweden.
Bottle to try: High Coast Timmer – Peat Smoke
Emma Symons, content executive. Dream destination: Madeira
When it comes to travel, I really do want to go everywhere, and there are plenty of booze-related destinations on my bucket list. A rum-themed trip to Barbados and beyond has been a long-held dream, and one day, I’ll tick at least some of my Caribbean checklist. But for now, I’m setting my sights on somewhere that feels a little more in reach, and equally gets my rum juices flowing. Maderia is accessible from the UK, and a place I probably ought to have found time and funds for by now. One of only a few countries in the world certified to produce Agricole rum (the rest are mainly French Caribbean islands – also on the more out-of-reach bucket list), I’m a huge fan of the category, and the idea of visiting an island where its made is most exciting. I’d love to do a “field to glass” tour, exploring the harvesting, processing, and distillation of locally grown sugar cane, wrapped up with a tasting, obviously. In more recent times, I’ve also discovered a love for Madeira wine, so that would be another tour and tasting I’d want to tick off. Oh, and it looks like there’s a promising bar scene too. I always remember seeing Pete Holland post on Instagram when he was ticking his way through the menu at Pukiki Tiki Bar, and I said to myself, “one day I will sit there, and I will do that” I mean, look at the place, who wouldn’t? Throw in a couple of beach (bar) days, maybe a boat trip and it looks like I’ve got a decent itinerary for my next getaway.
Bottle to try: Engenho Novo da Madeira 3 Year Old
Alex Badescu, content executive. Dream destination: Mexico/Japan/South Korea
I’ve got a ton of places on my bucket list but the ones that get the top spots for me have the ultimate trifecta of amazing food, rich drinks-making culture, and surfing. So, with that in mind, I could say Mexico and Japan. I won’t go into why the food is just *chef’s kiss* because we’d be here all day. On to the drinks. I’ve been nerding out on koji recently, so a trip to Japan to dive into sake, shochu, and awamori production across the different prefectures would be dreamy, and delicious. Mexico, because I’m a huge fan of agave spirits. I have a daydream where I’m just knocking back Palomas on a beach in Oaxaca. There’s also the sense that we’re at a bit of a watershed moment in terms of the production landscape. There are so many small-scale producers that don’t ship outside of Mexico, and a whole host of agave species and varieties are being used that won’t stand up to cultivation. But I have to be greedy and add a third, with a three-way tie between the above and South Korea. Drinks-wise, soju is well known here in the UK, but there’s obviously way more variety and cool fermentation processes out there, and some drinks, like makgeolli, don’t ship well. I guess that’s as good an excuse as any in my book. Also, there’s an island called Jeju with great surf, and apparently, a theme park called Love Land which you’ll have to google.
Bottle to try: Chuko Yokka Koji Awamori
Henry Jeffreys, editor. Dream destination: Jamaica
Well, at the moment my dream destination is anywhere where the weather is nice. We haven’t had a proper holiday for years because of you know what so Portugal, Southern Spain, the Canaries all look very tempting at the moment. They’re all excellent for drinking purposes. A trip to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in April for manzanilla sherry and tortillitas de camarones (shrimp fritters) sounds very tempting. But for a dream booze destination, I’d probably have to go for Jamaica. I love rum and there’s nothing quite like Jamaican rum from the smooth aged sippers of Appleton to the funkier rums sipper from Hampden Estate and not forgetting the mighty J. Wray and Nephew’s overproof. I want to stand near a dunder pit and inhale the smell. I’m also a massive fan of Jamaica music, mainly ‘70s reggae like Max Romeo, Toots & the Maytals, and Burning Spear, but I’ll love pretty much everything from Desmond Dekker to Chaka Demus & Pliers. Jamaican beach, Chaka Demus & Pliers on the sound system, and a Palmetto made with Hampden Estate 8 year old, and maybe someone to look after the children. I can dream.
Bottle to try: Hampden Estate 8 year old