Last night during the finale of the international bartending competition, ‘Bols Around The World’, Botanist Bar from Canada was crowned ‘Bols Master Bar Team 2019’.
After 10 editions of individual bartenders, this was the first edition that was all about team effort behind the bar. At the grand finale, which took place on Bols Cocktail Street (Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amsterdam), Canada competed against five other international bar teams for the world title and team trip to a city of their choice.
During the sold-out event, ticket holders for Bols Cocktail Street had the chance to visit six bars in which each bar team served their cocktail creation in a spectacular way. The competition was all about cocktails and the team spirit the participants showcased within their bar team. The teams had to go through two cocktail challenges; one of which was in the street, and a mystery challenge which was judged in the Bols Bartending Academy earlier in the day. For this challenge, bar teams were appointed a Dutch master painting, and had to create a cocktail concept inspired by it.
Botanist Bar Team
Botanist Bar team from Vancouver consists of Grant Sceney, Jeff Savage and Max Curzon-Price. Since its foundation in 2017, the bar has been recognized internationally as one of the ‘World’s Best New Bars’ by Condé Nast. The Canadians took over Lion Noir, serving their winning cocktail ‘Into the Æther’, which fits into Botanist’s laboratory style cocktails, which all embody a specific element of nature (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water), and are all elaborate presentation pieces in their own right. Into the Æther raises the bar in terms of its show stopping presentation and attention to the primary ingredient, Bols Genever. Inspired by the fifth element, Spirit, the drink is clear, with an emphasis on bold and surprising flavors. Botanist Bar team’s vision for the drink was to showcase how teamwork and team spirit is the underlying driving force behind the cocktails and experiences they leave their guests with. The Botanist Bar Team believe that though it takes one bartender to make a drink, it takes a team to create an experience. Watch their competition entry here.
This edition, the jury consisted of different icons in the international bar industry, all of whom own bars from the prestigious ‘World’s 50 Best Bar’ list. Led by Bols Master Bartender Ivar de Lange, this renowned jury decided that Botanist Bar was the proclaimed winner of Bols Around The World 2019.
- Ryan Chetiyawardana, World’s Best Bartender 2015 + owner of World’s Best Bar 2018 Dandelyan, London
- Boudewijn Mesritz & Lydia Soedadi, founders and owners of Tales & Spirits and The Jitterbug Saloon, Amsterdam
- Steve Schneider, partner and head bartender of Employees Only (NYC & Singapore) and co-owner of The Odd Couple in Shanghai and The Strangers Club in Panama.
The Botanist Bar has won the Bols Around the World 2019 competition because they perfectly used the versatility and history of Bols Genever,” said Bols Master Bartender Ivar de Lange. “By working as a team, they created a unique experience for the judges and the guests at Bols Cocktail Street. The 2019 edition of Bols Around the World was the first bar team edition. The Canadian team of the Botanist Bar in Vancouver showed that a true hospitality concept needs the best bar team. And that is what they are.”
There were 250 bar teams from 40 different countries participating in the competition which began in January. The finale saw Canada compete against South Africa, Colombia, England, Russia and South Korea. Every team got assigned a bar on the Reguliersdwarsstraat in Amsterdam, which they transformed into their own style. The participating bars of Bols Cocktail Street this year were Duke of Tokyo, Lion Noir, Middl.Eat, Roses by Sal, Soho and Toppers.
For all six teams in the finals of the international bartending competition Bols Around The World, Genever was an all-time favorite as the base of their cocktail creations. Also in the preliminary round, 90% of all international participants chose to use Bols Genever. This shows that Genever truly is working on a worldwide comeback and is the perfect base for cocktails. You can find all the recipes from the bar teams here.
All proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated by Lucas Bols to non-profit organization Dance4Life.