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First female world champion: Kate Gerwin crowned Bols Bartending World Champion 2014 6/5/2014

21 May 2014: Kate Gerwin of the USA has been awarded the prestigious title of Bols Bartending World Champion 2014, following a sensational Bols Around the World grand final on Tuesday 20 May in Amsterdam.

This highly-anticipated finale was webcast live to a global audience for the first time on bols.com. As well as being live-streamed at 16 Bols Around the World live-stream parties, riveted bartenders logged on personally to witness the eight final contenders battle head-to-head and have their bartending skills put to the ultimate test. Scrutinised by a six-strong international judging panel, finalists were tasked with demonstrating they are the world’s most visionary bartender, an innovator focused on creating the next trend in bartending. The action packed 1½ hour event also featured the newest and most innovative flair show by world champion tandem flair artists, Tomek Malek and Marek Poluszny and can be viewed on bols.com and also on youtube/Bolsbartending.

Kate prevailed with her outstanding cocktail, ‘Brown chicken, brown cacao’, made with Bols Cacao Brown, Bols Natural Yoghurt, spiced almond milk and walnut bitters. The inspiration behind her drink came from a classic cocktail in the USA which started in her home town of Bismarck, North Dakota with the oil boom.

In addition to being named Bols Bartending World Champion 2014, Kate’s prize package includes a 10-day global bar tour and a guest bartending shift in top bars in four cocktail capitals of the world. She wasn’t the only winner, however as the global webcast audience voted for their favourite bartender to win the Audience Award, which they gave to Frédéric Lafontaine from Canada.

Kate Gerwin says: “I don’t think there are any words to describe how I'm feeling. I am honoured. I have been on the most incredible journey here with Bols, together with the judges, the past winner and especially the other competitors. Even though we have been competing hard against each other we helped one another all the time and the judges have been so positive. I am thrilled with the prospect of representing Bols for a year. I hope I can do this incredible historic brand the justice it deserves because it has been instrumental in not only my career but that of so many bartenders’ careers.”

Head of the judging panel, Malika Saidi, trainer of the Bols Bartending Academy said: “This year the competition was incredible as our finalists worked extremely hard to impress the judging panel with their expertise. We were thoroughly impressed with all of the finalists’ performances and it was a very tough decision to choose one winner out of a very close top three. However, Kate’s all-round bartending skills, knowledge, creativity and innovation stood out, as well as her amazing presentation skills.”

Lucas Bols CEO, Huub van Doorne said: “The Bols Bartending World Championship continues to inspire the industry, encouraging the world’s most talented bartenders to get involved and present their best efforts. This year we also webcast the competition live for bartenders around the world to witness, which was a huge success. Innovation is at the heart of what we do at Bols and the 2014 champion, Kate Gerwin embodies that mindset and we are looking forward to collaborating with her.”

The eighth annual competition attracted the most extensive pool of innovative entries the contest has ever seen, with over 3,000 entries from 76 countries. Eighteen semi-finalists embarked on a four-day intensive Bols experience in Amsterdam showcasing a breadth of skills, before the group was narrowed down to eight finalists.

All Bols Around the World finalists will become Bols Ambassadors in their own region and will be trained extensively at the Bols Bartending Academy.

Bols Around The World 2014 finalists:

Canada: Frederic Lafontaine

USA: Kate Gerwin

UK: Elliot Ball

Netherlands: Airto Cramer

Russia: Katerina Babich

Japan: Yukiko Watanabe

Hong Kong: Antonio Lai Chun Nam

Australia: Jack Sotti

The global panel of judges across the semi-finals and grand final was headed by Malika Saidi and included Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, founder/general manager and bar manager respectively of The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog; Robbie Bargh, founder of London’s Gorgeous Group; Ago Perrone, Global Brand Ambassador Galliano and finally Bols Bartending World Champion 2013, Rusty Cerven, senior mixologist at Connaught Bar in London.

Relive the Bols Around the world Grand finals at youtube.com/bolsbartending

Additional information can be found at www.Bols.com and at www.facebook.com/bolsbartending.


Winning Cocktail: 

Brown Chicken, Brown Cacao by Kate Gerwin (USA)


2 oz Bols Cacao Brown

1.5 oz Bols Natural Yoghurt

.5 oz almond milk

½ tsp cardamom seeds

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise pods

2 dashes black walnut bitters

topped with Bols Cacao White Foam

Garnish/serving method:

Small milk jug glass, candy striped straw, topped with Bols Cacao White Foam, grated nutmeg


In an ISI container rapid infuse cacao and yoghurt with cardamom, cinnamon, star anise. Then strain and combine with remaining ingredients in a perlini. Shake and carbonate. Strain into a milk jug glass and garnish with a straw and grated nutmeg/spices

Motivation behind cocktail:

I am working in Bismarck, ND right now. I love the classics and I discovered a classic cocktail was invented right here in 1950 a block from my bar called a Smith & Curran. I have added my own twist to this easy to make, versatile and pleasing cocktail that was originally designed as a hangover cure.

I really wanted to show classics don't have to be overdone.  Sometimes they are really boozy and strong. You can have a classic cocktail and introduce markets to some really great drinks and change people’s minds about the products they are drinking.

About Bols:

Bols is the world’s oldest distilled spirit brand, dating back to 1575, when the Bols family opened a small distillery in Amsterdam. Since then, we have mastered the selection of the right ingredients and our expertise and curiosity has led to the creation of hundreds of delicious products. The original recipes are passed on from master distiller to master distiller and updated to suit contemporary tastes.

More than four centuries of craftsmanship, passion and experience join each other perfectly in the products of Bols; from the world’s best-selling genevers to the range of 38 quality liqueurs that are available in more than one hundred countries. From flavour innovations such as Bols Foam and Bols Natural Yoghurt, to all-time classics like Bols Genever and Bols Blue.

Lucas Bols brands are distributed in the UK by Maxxium UK. Maxxium UK Ltd is part of the global sales and distribution alliance between Beam Inc and Edrington. Its UK portfolio of premium brands includes: blended Scotch (The Famous Grouse and Teacher’s), malt whisky (Highland Park, Laphroaig, The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Ardmore), imported whiskey (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Canadian Club), cognac and brandy (Courvoisier and Fundador), sherry (Harveys), vodka (Stolichnaya), tequila (Sauza), rum (Brugal and Cruzan), liqueurs and specialities (Sourz, Bols liqueurs, Galliano, Vaccari, After Shock)

For more information on the contest, please contact Simone Harvey or Jennifer Cirillo at Lime PR on +44(0)208 544 6917, s.harvey@lime-pr.co.uk, j.cirillo@lime-pr.co.uk or Ara Carvallo on +31 20570 8542, aracarvallo@lucasbols.com.