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Kate Gerwin is first female Bols Champion

Kate Gerwin of the US has been awarded the prestigious title of Bols Bartending World Champion 2014, following a Bols Around the World grand final in Amsterdam this month.

The finale was webcast live to a global audience for the first time on 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 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 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 US 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
US: Kate Gerwin
UK: Elliot Ball
Netherlands: Airto Cramer
Russia: Katerina Babich
Japan: Yukiko Watanabe
Hong Kong: Antonio Lai Chun Nam
Australia: Jack Sotti

Winning Cocktail: 
Brown Chicken, Brown Cacao by Kate Gerwin (US)

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


11 June 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor