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John Parsons

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John Parsons

About John

I was at university when I caught the bug for making cocktails. I went to a ski resort in the alps and ran a very small cocktail bar during a year in the French alps and that was that, until then all I’d known were high volume bars churning out low quality drinks. I came back wanting to know everything I could. After my degree, luck landed me back in my home town of Plymouth managing the bar at the famous Gin Distillery. There I was exposed to the great and good of the industry and as they passed through I learned all this stuff about history and global trends, new ideas and techniques. After 5 years, back in London, I began freelance consultancy and bartender training with Shaker Bar School working on lots of cool projects both in London and internationally. Finally in 2011, I began working for Bols as their Ambassador in the UK, across Bols Liqueurs, Bols Genever and Galliano.

career highlights

I don’t think I’ve had a single day since I started working as a brand ambassador that was ever the same as another. There is so much variation within the Lucas Bols portfolio and the styles of bar that we work with. One day I can be geeking out on history and the subtleties of the Genever category and the next, I might be helping a group of guys separate their first shaker.

I normally start my day with email and news from the industry. You have to constantly have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening. Depending on what I have on that day, this is normally done travelling to an airport or on a train somewhere. The week will be split between trainings, consumer events, catching up with the local distributors and sales people, checking out new bars and catching up with old ones. Surrounding all this, there’s also admin tasks of administration and expenses to deal with as well as pushing forward with new ideas, creative projects and endless research into the world of liqueurs and genevers.

signature cocktail

Aged Mai Tai

  • 45 ml Bols Barrel Aged Genever
  • 25 ml Bols Dry Orange
  • 25 ml fresh Lime juice
  • 5 ml Almond Syrup
  • 5 ml Sugar Syrup

My favourite Bar : Bramble Bar & Lounge

It’s always hard picking a favourite of anything. The UK has such amazing diversity when it comes to bars that really it depends on the occasion. I love places that have the ability to work in all times of day and always make me feel comfortable, I love the hotel bars like the Connaught or the Coburg for that. Typically though, I’m a late night drinking kind of guy so dark and underground suits me well and few do that better, or with as much style, than Bramble in Edinburgh. Classic and elegant drinks, amazing service and an upbeat atmosphere in what feels like a neighbourhood bar.

posts from John Parsons