Charismatic television host Jack Maxwell hails from Boston, Massachusetts and comes complete with a charming accent and an affinity for a cold pint coupled with a stranger’s friendship. Otherwise known as “bar culture.”
“I grew up in Southie, shining shoes at local pubs as a kid,” Maxwell says. “After a few drinks, the guys would tell me these wonderful stories of adventure, travel and excitement. I just fell in love with the bar culture.”
The Travel Channel’s show Booze Traveler follows him across the globe as he quenches his thirst for culture and cocktails. The show has taken him to Peru, Cuba, Russia and Patagonia. His adventures allow him to delve into a city’s history and culture while mingling with the locals and getting a more personal experience.
“I visited the exotic Nomads of Mongolia who pick up and move across the Gobi Desert whenever they feel like it. I asked them what it was like to not have a roof over your head or a home,” he recalls. “One guy just looked at me and very touchingly answered, ‘Jack, the land is our living room and the sky is our ceiling.’”
For a man who travels the world for a living, Maxwell admits that he will always have a soft spot for his hometown, Boston. While the bar culture in any city changes pretty rapidly, Jack reminiscences on his favorite local haunts, like Triple O’s on West Broadway where notorious gangster Whitey Bulger used to frequent. “The L Street Tavern is where Good Will Hunting was shot. I went back a few years ago and discovered that my buddy from grade school owns it now. It’s a good, down home, dive bar,” he says of the Southie hangout.
From the streets of Boston to the Gobi Desert, it would seem as though Maxwell has had a drink everywhere. His drink of choice rotates as he furthers his worldly travels but during our conversation he tells me, “A Pisco Sour out of Peru is one of my favorites. It’s so important to the country, too. The first Saturday of every February is National Pisco Sour Day. Pisco is a clear brandy made from grapes. If you have a Pisco Sour made by someone who knows what he or she is doing it is a beautiful thing.”
Maxwell makes it clear that as much as he is enamored by the art of mixology, he aims to have fun on Booze Traveler. “The show is about meeting people, socializing and trying drinks. You won’t find a breakdown of the molecular structure of Scotch,” he explains. “There are some beautiful places around the world and even more so, beautiful people with great stories. If you sit down with them over a couple of cocktails, they will let you into their home and share their food, friends and family. It’s great to say you’ve seen the Gobi Desert or the Northern Lights or the Louvre, but the stories you go home with after meeting people; that’s the real gem. That’s the spirit of the show.”
Tune into Maxwell’s new show, Booze Traveler: Best Bars on the Travel Channel and find the Best Hangover Cure Bar, Best Hidden bar and Best Tropical Bar in America.