Lucas Bols launches 7th Annual Bols Around the World Bartending Championship

Lucas Bols today announces the launch of the seventh annual Bols Around the World competition, the prestigious bartending world championship that seeks to find the world’s most talented and inspiring bartender.

Contenders are invited to compete in three heats over six months for one of 20 spots in the semi-finals which will take place in Amsterdam on May 6, 2013 and  12 spots at the Grand Final, also held in Amsterdam, on May 7, 2013. The contest, which has the widest reach of all major global bartending competitions, went live on  December 1, 2012.

Participating bartenders drawn from 60 countries from all corners of the globe will be asked to create a cocktail recipe using Bols Genever, Bols liqueurs, or both, for a chance to win a trip around the world to four cocktail cities of his or her choice over eight days. The overall winner will also be awarded a Platinum Bols Ambassadorship, including two all-expenses-paid trips to Amsterdam for intensive training.

Twenty finalists will receive a one-year Gold Bols Ambassadorship, including a trip to Amsterdam for intensive Bols Ambassador training and an honorary contract to represent Bols in their own home country across a range of seminars, trade shows and courses. Together with the winner, they will be profiled on the competition’s global website and receive a Bols Around the World National Champion Trophy and a Limited Edition Bols Barrel Aged Genever, signed by Lucas Bols master distiller, Piet Leijenhorst.

To make it to the final, bartenders will be tested on the key attributes of a world-class bartender. In 2012, Gabor Onufer from Hungary was crowned Bols Bartending World Champion from a field of 1,600 bartenders for his The Merchant cocktail and Pass the Dutchie food pairing recipe.

One spot in the finals will be reserved for a member of the Young Talent Program, a unique programme that gives bartenders aged 18-21 (depending on country’s legal drinking age) the chance to compete with the world’s best bartenders. To help them reach this level of expertise, they will receive coaching from the Bols Bartending Academy throughout the competition. Four young talents will then compete in Amsterdam against each other, and only the best will make it through to the Grand Final to compete against the 11 other finalists.

Sandie van Doorne, Lucas Bols creative and communications director comments: “Now in its seventh year and running across 60 countries, Bols Around the World is the widest reaching bartending contest in the world and this year’s Grand Final is set to be more spectacular than ever.”
“The competition celebrates the best in bartending technique and reflects the values taught at the Bols Bartending Academy, from drink knowledge and mixology to hospitality, speed and efficiency. Contestants receive training from the Bols Bartending Academy throughout the competition to foster the innovation and excellence that Lucas Bols stands for.”

About the competition
The competition, which will be open to 20 regions across the globe, with one semi-finalist selected from each*, will be made up of three heats including a cocktail round, theoretical test and video.

Heat #1 will test the bartenders’ mastery of flavour. To compete, bartenders will be asked to upload a cocktail recipe with a minimum of 1/2 oz Bols Liqueurs and/or 1 oz Bols Genever, which will be judged for harmony and balance.

The best bartenders per country will move on to Heat #2 to complete an exam on the fundamentals of bartending. The 40-question online exam will cover a wide-range of topics, with everything from the history of distilling to influential cocktail personalities and coffee. The best bartenders from each country with the highest score will move on to the final heat.

For Heat #3, bartenders will be tasked with creating a short video of themselves, up to 60 seconds in length, presenting their cocktail. The films will challenge bartenders to display their flair for technique, passion for bartending, and style of service.  16 professional bartenders and four young talents will be selected to go through to the semi-finals.

The semi-finals and Grand Final will be conducted in Amsterdam from May 2-7, 2013 in a top secret location, hosted by Bols Bartending Academy trainers, Rob Rademaker, Malika Saidi and Ruben Maduro. Participants will be put through their paces at interviews with the global judging panel and assessed not only on their cocktail recipe, but also their food pairing, presentation skills, commercial and marketing insight, understanding and passion for bartending and overall ability to entertain, ensuring the winner is a truly all-round bartender and Bols ambassador. On the last day, 12 bartenders will enter the Grand Final, where they will be judged by a panel of some of the most admired personalities in the spirits industry:

o   Anistatia Miller & Jared Brown - Directors of Mixellany Limited, publishers of more than 30 books on drinks, spirits and history

o   Hidetsugu Ueno – owner and bartender of Bar High Five Tokyo and master of Japanese bartending

o   Jeff (Beachbum) Berry – One of Imbibe magazine’s ‘25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century’, Global Tiki Expert, co-owner of Faux Tropical Bar School

o   Ago Perrone – Global Brand Ambassador Galliano, Head Mixologist Connaught Bar, World’s best cocktail Bar T-O-C

o   Gabor Onufer – Bols Bartending World Champion 2012

Up to the minute information on the contest and rules and regulations for the contest can be found at


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