Are you the next Bols Genever Pioneer?



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This year Bols Around the World celebrates its 9th anniversary and goes back to its roots: the Dutch spirit Bols Genever. To celebrate this pioneering spirit, we’re looking for the next Bols Genever pioneer.

The Prize

The winner of the Bols Around the World finals in Amsterdam will be the next Bols Genever Pioneer, and will win a bartending trip around the World.


Your trip will begin in Amsterdam, during your time here, you will work side by side with our master distiller Piet van Leijenhorst, and learn the great art of distilling. Your second stop will be at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, this is where you will take part in the industry's leading bartending seminars and workshops. Your final stop will be in Tokyo Japan, where you will experience the art of Japanese bartending.

The Rules


This is a bartending competition for professional and aspiring bartenders in selected countries.

We are looking for the next Bols Genever Pioneer! The Bols Genever pioneer is an all round bartender with a business focus. The Pioneer 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.


You can sign up from September 1st until October 31st. Signing up for this competition will require some basic personal information. You will have to complete and score top marks during the online challenges to secure a spot in the final week in Amsterdam.


Competiton schedule

All rounds will start and end at
00:00 (+1 CET Amsterdam) on the days specified.

Are you the next Bols Genever Pioneer?

During 3 online heats, you will be tested on creativity, knowledge, hospitality and the ability to approach Bols Genever from a business angle. If you become one of the top 3 bartenders of your region, you will be visited in your bar to showcase your Bols Genever concept. The winners of each region will be invited to Amsterdam for the grand final where you will bring your Bols Genever concept to life in one of the bars in ‘The Bols Genever Street’ in the centre of Amsterdam!

Heat 1: Respect the past, celebrate the future
1 Nov - 20 Nov 2016

The original Bols Genever recipe was created in 1820, and a lot has changed in the world of mixed drinks since then. Jerry Thomas published the first cocktail book in 1862, prohibition devastated professional bartending for over a decade, which was followed by Tiki and the disco era. Today we find ourselves in a new golden age of bartending and bartenders world-wide experiment with home-made bitters, infusions, fermentation and molecular mixology. The cocktail culture has developed at a rapid pace in recent years, and it is hard to imagine what the future will bring.

 The next Bols Genever pioneer is a bartender with a solid classic knowledge, but is also able to predict the future trends. Imagine it is the year 2025, when Lucas Bols will celebrate its 450th anniversary. What will we be drinking then? Which techniques will be used? What will be the future Bols Genever classic?

Top 75% will advance to heat 2

Heat 2: Knowledge is the start of Wisdom
29 Nov - 7 Dec 2016

We believe that knowledge of the products you work with, heritage and history are key for an all-round bartender. A Bols Genever pioneer is an all-round bartender and during this heat your knowledge will be tested.

 Study the knowledge kit and the classic recipes in the knowledge kit that will be available on your dashboard. Most questions in this test originate from the Bols Genever knowledge kit but we have also included some questions to test your general bartending knowledge. The knowledge test consists of 30 multiple choice questions and 1 open question. You will have limited time per question for the multiple choice questions. There is no time limit for the open question. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection before you start the knowledge test, as you won’t be able to re-start the test.

Top 10 bartenders per region advance to heat 3

Heat 3: Show your Skills
3 Jan - 22 Jan 2017

The next Bols Genever pioneer should have a solid knowledge on Bols Genever and its versatility in cocktails and mixed drinks, to make sure this ‘forgotten spirit’ does not live up to its name. He or she should be able to create Bols Genever cocktails for any guest at your bar, from Genever novice to Genever connoisseurs.

 During this heat, you are asked to create a short video of maximum 1:30 minutes where you will present your Bols Genever signature serve. This serve should be appealing for your guests, showcase Bols Genever and give them an insight in the world of Bols Genever. Your Bols Genever signature serve is not the same cocktail you created for heat 1. This serve can be a cocktail, a mixed drink or a variation on a ritual. (For example the ritual of a ‘kopstootje’, sipping Bols Genever next to a beer).


Top 3 bartenders per region advance to heat 4

Heat 4: Now you are live…!
13 Feb - 19 March 2017

If you make it to the top 3 of your region, you will be visited by a BATW judging team in your bar. You will be asked to host a Bols Genever evening at your bar, where you will have the opportunity to bring your Bols Genever concept to life. The goal of this evening is to showcase Bols Genever, promote your bar and give us an insight in your event management skills, creativity and ability to bring a concept to life. The program of the evening, number of invited guests and promotional/educational activities are up to you.

7 Regional winners advance to the grand final in Amsterdam

8-9-10 May 2017

The winner of each region will be invited to Amsterdam for the Grand Final. During this final, you will have the opportunity to showcase your Bols Genever concept in one of the 7 bars in the ‘Bols Genever street’ in the heart of Amsterdam.

The Grand Final will be judged by the Bols Genever Iconic Team who will decide who will be the Bols around the World winner of 2017.

Global Panel of Judges


David is an internationally recognized authority on cocktails and their history. His devotion to the gospel of the classic cocktail does not shrink from field work; he conducts frequent seminars in cocktail history with participants getting a true taste of the past. His books are a must-read in the international bartending community with Imbibe! and  Punch: the delights (and dangers) of the flowing bowl regarded as contemporary classics. David has an appreciation of the art of the classic cocktail, and a talent for contemporary context.


Jim is a bartender, journalist and author of the PDT Cocktail Book, and has worked in nearly every capacity of the hospitality business for the latter half his of his 39 years on the planet.  A Chicago area native schooled in Wisconsin, who achieved acclaim for his work behind bars in New York City; he now spends almost as much time on the road at trade shows and trainings as at home in Portland, Oregon. He will release his new book: Meehan’s manual, in the fall of 2017. Jim’s passion for service, quest for further knowledge, belief in the transformative power of hospitality, and commitment to mentor the industries next generation is only divided by his duties as a proud father, devoted husband, and doting French Bulldog companion.


Piet is the Master Distiller at Lucas Bols and runs the Lucas Bols distillery in Amsterdam. He has four centuries of craftsmanship at hand to create new innovations. Piet is responsible for product development and the quality of our portfolio of Genevers and liqueurs. His seasoned knowledge and experience make him the perfect all-round Master Distiller. With over 30 years of devotion to the Lucas Bols company, he continues to inspire and innovate.


Kate pursued a career in wine making from the age of 21. From there, she moved to New Mexico to open a restaurant where she began exploring the cocktail world. Without having anyone to mentor her, she started to experiment and educate herself into her new found career. Kate was the winner of Bols Around the World 2014 and has since been connected to the brand, starting the online platform ‘Girls with Bols’ in 2015. Girls with Bols creates innovative programs that help bartenders to improve their career through mentorship, inspiration and education.


Ivar recently joined the Lucas Bols team as the Master Bartender, and is responsible for the cocktail program, the Bols Bartending Academy and global bartending strategy. Ivar is a trained medical psychologist, but switched from science to bartending to open his own bar Demain, Nijmegen in 2008. Ivar is a passionate bartender who has won many awards and accolades for his work. He is a keen traveler who loves to educate, inspire and connect the global bartending community.

Malika Saidi

After a career in physiotherapy, Malika found her true passion in bartending. Working in various bars both nationally and internationally, she focused on her development as a spirits expert, presenter and dedicated trainer. Since she joined the Bols Bartending Academy as a trainer and Global brand ambassador in 2010, she has trained thousands of bartenders all over the world in a passionate mission to raise the bar in hospitality.