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Shay Mitchell Stuns in Photos from Her New Travel Show Thirst — and Reveals the ‘Intense’ Schedule (Exclusive)

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PEOPLE has a first look at the new Max show 'Thirst With Shay Mitchell' which sees the actress explore speciality drinks in Colombia, Peru and beyond.

Shay Mitchell is seriously dedicated to finding the best drink. 

In her upcoming travel show, Thirst With Shay Mitchell, the actress travels around the world learning about various “drink trends, the best bars and 8,000 years of sipping history” from expert hosts, per a press release. Along with sharing exclusive photos, the Pretty Little Liars star tells PEOPLE about her unique travel journey and how the new Max show – which premieres globally on May 23 – originated. 

“For me, getting to make Thirst is the dream…years ago I had my own travel YouTube series, and my time on the road and in planes led me to create BÉIS and then Onda…is there anything more perfect for me?” she says, referencing her bag and luggage brand and tequila line. 

According to Mitchell, the idea spawned from a time of creativity for lots of people: the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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“From the moment the idea came into my consciousness it clicked. It is a white space….there are endless travel shows about food but none about drinks,” she tells PEOPLE. 

The drinks Mitchell tries range in taste and type — and they all tell a story. In Argentina, she “encounters flaming cocktails at Buenos Aires’ first tiki bar before an Argentine mixologist performs ancient spirit magic,” per a release. While in Colombia, she tries espresso beer, ancient floral beverages and even formerly illegal cocktails in Cartagena.

While it may seem like a mammoth feat, Mitchell and the team actually managed to shoot in “just under four weeks,” which packed in “four episodes in four countries, 10 flights, a dozen hosts and countless hours spent planning.”

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The schedule was “intense,” she says, but it was rewarding.  

“We landed after multiple flights and long drives and we hit the ground running; when you watch the show and you see us at Machu Pichu, San Telmo and Palenque that’s literally us out on our own in the world shooting on phones. And that was super important to me,” she adds.

For someone who doesn’t “believe in jet lag,” the mom of two says filming the new show “definitely tested my theory.” And she learned plenty of practical lessons along the way. “The weather threw us for a loop!” she says, adding that she had a “last-minute shopping excursion in Argentina because it was so cold.” 

She loved each destination for their own different reasons, but admits Colombia has been at the top of her travel bucket list for years.

“I really had no expectations and was totally blown away. The food! The people! The history! So much warmth,” she says.

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For a show about drinks, you might think Mitchell would experience the occasional hangover. She says she tries her “very best” to avoid them, but if she does get unlucky, her “go-to cure” is “Hydralyte, sleeping it off and binge-watching a whole season of a show.”

And of course, Thirst With Shay Mitchell also features non-alcoholic beverages for the sober-curious set. “Thirst explores all drinks — those that have taken the world by storm, and those that remain closer to home,” Mitchell reveals.

While the new show brings so many new adventures to the working mom, Mitchell says nothing is better than coming home to her two daughters Atlas, 4, and Rome, 22 months. 

“I love to travel, but I also love to come home. That feeling of walking in your door and sleeping in your own bed — is there a better feeling?” she says. “A lot of times I am traveling solo for work, so the first thing I do is track down my girls.”

Thirst With Shay Mitchell will premiere globally on Max on May 23.

By Antonia DeBianchi

Updated on April 18, 2024 02:35PM EDT