Kate Gerwin is Bols Bartending World Champion 2014

Kate Gerwin from the US is Bols’ Bartending World Champion 2014. The grand final took place this week in Amsterdam.

Her winning cocktail was: ‘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 that started in her home town of Bismarck, North Dakota with the oil boom.

Head of the judging panel, Malika Saidi, trainer of the Bols Bartending Academy said: “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: “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 webcast final went live to a global audience for the first time on bols.com. As well as being live-streamed at 16 Bols Around the World live-stream parties, bartenders logged on to watch the eight final contenders scrutinised by the six judges.

Finalists were tasked with demonstrating they are the world’s most visionary bartender, an innovator focused on creating the next trend in bartending. The event also featured the newest and most innovative flair show by world champion tandem flair artists, Tomek Malek and Marek Poluszny see bols.com and youtube/Bolsbartending.

Gerwin’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. The global webcast audience awarded the ‘Audience Award’, to Frédéric Lafontaine from Canada.

Gerwin said: “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.

The eighth annual competition attracted more than 3,000 entries from 76 countries. Eighteen semi-finalists embarked on a four-day intensive Bols experience in Amsterdam, 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

USA: Kate Gerwin

UK: Elliot Ball

Netherlands: Airto Cramer

Russia: Katerina Babich

Japan: Yukiko Watanabe

Hong Kong: Antonio Lai Chun Nam

Australia: Jack Sotti

The global panel of judges across the semi-finals and grand final was headed by Malika Saidi and included Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, founder/general manager and bar manager respectively of The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog; Robbie Bargh, founder of London’s Gorgeous Group; Ago Perrone, Global Brand Ambassador Galliano and finally Bols Bartending World Champion 2013, Rusty Cerven, senior mixologist at Connaught Bar in London.