Global Bols bartender competition focuses on genever

Bols Genever

The annual Bols Around the World competition for bartenders has been launched for 2017 – with a focus this year on genever.

Running since 2007, the international competition is going back to its roots by calling on bartenders to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity using Bols Genever, with the prize of an around-the-world trip.

Bartenders can register their interest to be a “Bols Genever Pioneer” at and then create a profile for their entry from September 1 until October 31. Judging will begin on November 1 online, working towards regional finals in February when judges will visit finalists’ bars.

The grand final will feature winners from seven regions including the UK, taking place in Amsterdam from May 8 to 10. They will showcase their Bols Genever concepts in the “Bols Geneverstreet”.

The grand prize is the Bols Genever Pioneer Around the World Tour, aimed at helping them to develop stronger knowledge of genever and bartending skills. It will include learning to distil with the Lucas Bols master distiller in Amsterdam, attending the international Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans and mastering ice-carving skills in Asia.

The judges, or “icons”, will be cocktail historian David Wondrich, Lucas Bols’ master distiller Piet van Leijenhorst, 2015 Bols Around the World winner Kate Gerwin from the USA, Bols global brand ambassador Malika Saidi, and Lucas Bols master bartender Ivar de Lange.

Judges will be looking for “an all-round bartender with a business focus” who has “extensive Bols Genever knowledge but also knows how to truly experiment with Bols Genever. The Bols Genever pioneer comes up with new ideas and dares to lead the crowd. It’s the classic bartender with a passion for the newest trends.”

In the past, the Bols Around the World competition took in the wider Lucas Bols portfolio including its extensive range of liqueurs. Previous international winners have included Rusty Červen, until recently bar manager at The Gibson in London.

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