To celebrate one decade of the Bols Around The World competition, this year, the competition shifted its focus from individual to team-based challenges. The six finalist bar teams from North America, Eastern/Central Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, South/Central America and Africa/Middle East, were flown to Amsterdam to compete in the Grand Finale, and Vancouver’s Botanist Bar was crowned champion.
Teams were tasked to create a unique recipe and creative theatrical concepts using products from Lucas Bols Global Portfolio. The bar team from the award-winning Fairmont Pacific Rim restaurant and bar were given a still picture of a Dutch girl at breakfast painted by Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard in 1756. Botanist Bar’s interpretation came in the form of a still mannequin scene starring bartender Max Curzon-Price, accompanied by a clarified milk punch designed a la minute.
In the finale, each team was tasked with creating a pop-up on Reguliersdwarsstraat--a popular street in Central Amsterdam known for great bars and restaurants--that reflected their home-bar experience. Botanist Bar produced what they called an Æther Experiential Cocktail, made with Bols Genever, white tea, vermouth, forest herbs, and seawater. The Æther impressed the esteemed panel of judges with both its aesthetic appeal and its tantalizing flavour profile, which was enough to crown the bar team from Vancouver as the inaugural champions.
"We were so honoured to represent North America and Botanist Bar at the Bols Around the World competition," says Grant Sceney, creative beverage director at Fairmont Pacific Rim. "This competition was rare in that it was about the spirit of teamwork and we're extremely thrilled to share this award with the entire Botanist Bar team."