You are about to watch the very first episode of the Grow Your Own Cocktail web-series.

We have been travelling the world to meet inspiring bartenders, local producers and are very proud to share with you the result of what has been the most amazing experience… in Dubai!

Relax, have a sip of Jameson and watch this:

Want to know more?

Grow your Own Cocktail is a Jameson initiative encouraging bartenders to connect with their local community to source and grow their own ingredients.

With the help of Andre Duncan, the Jameson Barrelmens’s Homecoming Global Winner 2018, and because at Jameson we are not afraid of challenges, we’ve decided to bring our team to Dubai. What bigger challenge than the desert to learn how to source, grow and mix ingredients?

Dubai has a hot desert climate with two distinct seasons – Summer (hot weather, warm winds and high humidity) and Winter (quite a lot of rain). But don’t think it makes it impossible to grow ingredients over there, urban farming is exploding.

On our journey to find the most local ingredients we’ve decided to stop first to a camel farm and get some camel milk. Weird yes… but very local!

Andre wanted to make a Camel Milk Punch using only local ingredients. A first stop in the Souk with Brandon allowed us to source various local ingredients and get of feel of the culture. In Dubai they care not also about the taste but about the full sensorial experience.

Meeting Mary Anne and discovering her farm was incredible, it was the leaving proof that it is actually possible to grow food in the middle of the desert. She taught us a lot about Aquaponics and Hydroponics and definitely ensured that growing ingredients in a bar is possible.

Our stay in Dubai allowed us too to learn more about the bartending culture over there.

With a total population of 9,2 million inhabitants, Dubai counts 88,52% of expatriates and immigrants. Emiratis make up remaining 11.48% of the population. Bars must be located within hotels in the UAE and will usually never be visible from the street to the general public.

Bars and restaurants are of an extremely high standard in the UAE with people paying premium prices for great food and amazing drinks all across the country. Yaro, Bar Supervisor at Iris, confirmed it “this super city is home to some of the wealthiest people and they expect to observe exceptional, fabulous things around them.”

Using local flavours ends up sometimes to be the way to make drinks exceptional.

The full experience could never have been as amazing without the help of Shane Dempsey, Jameson Brand Ambassador in Dubai and the fabulous bar community over there. 64 of them showed up for the masterclass organised and share their passion and knowledge with our host.