The competition attracted 2,000 entries from 75 countries.
The semi-finalists (top three from each region) were visited by the Bols Around The World judging team and asked to host a Bols Genever evening at their bar, where they had the opportunity to bring their Bols Genever concepts to life. The competition was then narrowed down to seven regional winners, who advanced to the grand final in Amsterdam.
Mili’s cocktail was a mix of Genever original, infused cinnamon, Bols Maraschino, Tio Pepe fino sherry, lemon juice and fennel syrup. The cocktail was presented alongside an interactive piece of art where guests could add colour to the artwork, making it their own.
In the runner up places was Masaki Ishimura with his drink ‘The Heart Warmer ‘and Evgenya Prazdnik with her drink ‘Masalawala’.
Mili told DI: “I remember first entering the competition talking to my roommate saying: ‘Can you imagine if I got to go to Amsterdam to compete in this competition?’ So even being in Amsterdam was absolutely surreal and I really did have the attitude that I am already a winner for going on this amazing trip so this is just the cherry on top.”
The final judging panel was headed by Malika Saidi and included well known cocktail historian David Wondrich; Jim Meehan, journalist and bartender; Lucas Bols master distiller Piet van Leijenhorst; Kate Gerwin, BATW Winner 2014 and Bols master bartender, Ivar de Lange.
Saidi, head of the jury and Bols global brand ambassador, said: “Jessica’s hospitality shone through. She was so natural; great under pressure. Her drink was delicious and accessible for everyone and she brought her concept to life throughout the entire evening.”
Judges scored the competition based on the cocktails made earlier that day. All seven finalists were given the opportunity of customising existing bars along the famous ‘Reguliersdwarsstraat’ which later transformed into ‘Bols Geneverstreet’. The judges saw the finalist’s personalities, hospitality skills and their ability to deal with the pressure of attendees from the industry and for the first time ever consumers.
Mili’s prize includes an around the world tour comprises: learning to distil with Bols master distiller in Amsterdam, visiting the masterclasses at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and learning the art of Japanese ice-carving in Asia.